Apr 23, 2020

Expanding the depth and sensitivity of cross-link identification by differential ion mobility using FAIMS

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
L. SchnirchFan Liu


In cross-linking mass spectrometry, the depth and sensitivity is often limited by the low abundance of cross-links compared to non-cross-linked peptides in the digestion mixture. To improve the identification efficiency of low abundant cross-links, here we present a gas-phase separation strategy using high field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) coupled to the Orbitrap Tribrid mass spectrometers. By enabling an additional peptide separation step in gas phase using the FAIMS device, we increase the number of cross-link identification by 23% for a medium complex sample and 56% for strong cation exchange-fractionated HEK293 cell lysate. Furthermore, we show that for medium complex samples, FAIMS enables the collection of single-shot cross-linking data with comparable depth to the corresponding sample fractionated by chromatography-based approaches. Altogether, we demonstrate FAIMS is highly beneficial for XL-MS studies by expanding the proteome coverage of cross-links while improving the efficiency and confidence of cross-link identification.

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Mentioned in this Paper

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