Combined electron capture and infrared multiphoton dissociation for multistage MS/MS in a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer

Anal Chem. 2003 Jul 1;75(13):3256-62. doi: 10.1021/ac030015q.


We have mounted a permanent on-axis dispenser cathode electron source inside the magnet bore of a 9.4-T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. This configuration allows electron capture dissociation (ECD) to be performed reliably on a millisecond time scale. We have also implemented an off-axis laser geometry that enables simultaneous access to ECD and infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD). Optimum performance of both fragmentation techniques is maintained. The analytical utility of performing either ECD or IRMPD on a given precursor ion population is demonstrated by structural characterization of several posttranslationally modified peptides: IRMPD of phosphorylated peptides results in few backbone (b- and y-type) cleavages, and product ion spectra are dominated by neutral loss of H3PO4. In contrast, ECD provides significantly more backbone (c- and z*-type) cleavages without loss of H3PO4. For N-glycosylated tryptic peptides, IRMPD causes extensive cleavage of the glycosidic bonds, providing structural information about the glycans. ECD cleaves all backbone bonds (except the N-terminal side of proline) in a 3-kDa glycopeptide with no saccharide loss. However, only a charge-reduced radical species and some side chain losses are observed following ECD of a 5-kDa glycopeptide from the same protein. An MS3 experiment involving IR laser irradiation of the charge-reduced species formed by electron capture results in extensive dissociation into c- and z-type fragment ions. Mass-selective external ion accumulation is essential for the structural characterization of these low-abundance (modified) peptides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cyclotrons*
  • Electrons
  • Erythrina / chemistry
  • Fourier Analysis*
  • Infrared Rays
  • Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Photons
  • Proteins / analysis


  • Proteins