High-mass-measurement accuracy and 100% sequence coverage of enzymatically digested bovine serum albumin from an ESI-FTICR mass spectrum

Anal Chem. 1999 Jul 15;71(14):2595-9. doi: 10.1021/ac990231s.


The application of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry to the analysis of polypeptide mixtures resulting from proteolytic digestion is described. A new 11.5-T FTICR mass spectrometer has been applied for the analysis of tryptic digestion mixtures of the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA). The improved cyclotron frequency stability and reduced frequency shifts observed over a wide range of trapped ion population sizes provide the ability to signal average spectra without degrading mass measurement accuracy, requiring internal calibration or advanced data processing schemes to compensate for variations in ion cyclotron signals brought about by different population sizes. A total of 100 spectra were signal-averaged leading to the observation of a total of 123 isotope distributions with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 3:1. From those distributions, 86 can be ascribed to tryptic fragments of BSA on the basis of mass measurement errors of 10 ppm or less. Of these, 71 were within 2 ppm error limits corresponding to complete amino acid sequence coverage and an average error of 0.77 ppm. These results indicate that high-accuracy measurements are feasible for a large number of species detected simultaneously without the necessity for internal calibration and indicate the potential of such measurements, when combined with chromatographic separations, for facilitating more rapid identification of large numbers of proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / chemistry*
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / metabolism


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine