Journal article

On the use of electron capture rate constants to describe electron capture dissociation mass spectrometry of peptides

Electron capture dissociation (ECD) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is a powerful analytical tool for peptide and protein structure analysis. The product ion abundance (PIA) distribution in ECD MS/MS is known to vary as a function of electron irradiation period. This variation complicates the development of a method of peptide identification by correlation of ECD MS/MS data with experimental and theoretical mass spectra. Here, we first develop a kinetic model to describe primary electron capture by peptide dications leading to product ion formation and secondary electron capture resulting in product ion neutralization. We apply the developed kinetic model to calculate product ion formation rate constants and electron capture rate constants of product ions from ECD mass spectra acquired using various electron irradiation periods. Contrary to ECD PIA distributions, the product ion formation rate constants are shown to be independent of electron irradiation period and, thus, may be employed to characterize ECD product ion formation more universally. The electron capture rate constants of product ions in ECD Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance MS were found to correlate (with a correlation factor, R-2, of ca 0.9) with ion mobility cross sections of product ions in electron transfer dissociation. Finally, we demonstrate that the electron irradiation period influences the ratio of radical and even-electron c and z product ions.


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