Fragmentation characteristics of collision-induced dissociation in MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2007 Apr 15;79(8):3032-40. doi: 10.1021/ac061455v. Epub 2007 Mar 17.


The identification of proteins by tandem mass spectrometry relies on knowledge of the products produced by collision-induced dissociation of peptide ions. Most previous work has focused on fragmentation statistics for ion trap systems. We analyzed fragmentation in MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometry, collecting statistics using a curated set of 2459 MS/MS spectra and applying bootstrap resampling to assess confidence intervals. We calculated the frequency of 18 product ion types, the correlation between both mass and intensity with ion type, the dependence of amide bond breakage on the residues surrounding the cleavage site, and the dependence of product ion detection on residues not adjacent to the cleavage site. The most frequently observed were internal ions, followed by y ions. A strong correlation between ion type and the mass and intensity of its peak was observed, with b and y ions producing the most intense and highest mass peaks. The amino acids P, W, D, and R had a strong effect on amide bond cleavage when situated next to the breakage site, whereas residues including I, K, and H had a strong effect on product ion observation when located in the peptide but not adjacent to the cleavage site, a novel observation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / chemistry
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*


  • Amino Acids
  • Proteins