Benefits of Collisional Cross Section Assisted Precursor Selection (caps-PASEF) for Cross-linking Mass Spectrometry

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
B. SteigenbergerRichard A Scheltema


Ion mobility separates molecules in the gas-phase on their physico-chemical properties, providing information about their size as collisional cross-sections. The timsTOF Pro combines trapped ion mobility with a quadrupole, collision cell and a time-of-flight mass analyzer, to probe ions at high speeds with on-the-fly fragmentation. Here, we show that on this platform ion mobility is beneficial for cross-linking mass spectrometry (XL-MS). Cross-linking reagents covalently link amino acids in close proximity, resulting in peptide pairs after proteolytic digestion. These cross-linked peptides are typically present at low abundance in the background of normal peptides, which can partially be resolved by using enrichable cross-linking reagents. Even with a very efficient enrichable cross-linking reagent, like PhoX, the analysis of cross-linked peptides is still hampered by the co-enrichment of peptides connected to a partially hydrolyzed reagent - termed mono-linked peptides. For experiments aiming to uncover protein-protein interactions these are unwanted byproducts. Here, we demonstrate that gas-phase separation by ion mobility enables the separation of mono-linked peptides from cross-linked peptide pairs. A clear partition betwee...Continue Reading

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