Isotope Depletion Mass Spectrometry (ID-MS) for Enhanced Top-Down Protein Fragmentation

Kelly J GallagherDavid J Clarke


Top-down mass spectrometry has become an important technique for the identification of proteins and characterisation of chemical and posttranslational modifications. However, as the molecular mass of proteins increases intact mass determination and top-down fragmentation efficiency become more challenging due to the partitioning of the mass spectral signal into many isotopic peaks. In large proteins, this results in reduced sensitivity and increased spectral complexity and signal overlap. This phenomenon is a consequence of the natural isotopic heterogeneity of the elements which comprise proteins (notably 13C). Here we present a bacterial recombinant expression system for the production of proteins depleted in 13C and 15N and use this strategy to prepare a range of isotopically depleted proteins. High resolution MS of isotope depleted proteins reveal dramatically reduced isotope distributions, which results in increases in sensitivity and deceased spectral complexity. We demonstrate that the monoisotopic signal is observed in mass spectra of proteins up to ~50 kDa. This allows confident assignment of accurate molecular mass, and facile detection of low mass modifications (such as deamidation). We outline the benefits of this i...Continue Reading

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