Atmospheric pressure MALDI on a Q-Exactive instrument was optimized for in-source decay and pseudo-MS3. The dependence of AP-MALDI ISD on the MALDI liquid matrix was investigated for peptides and proteins. The liquid matrices enabled long-life ISD signal, and exhibited high fragment ion yield and signal stability. Extensive a-, b-, c-, y-, and z-type fragment series were observed depending on the matrix used but were most extensive with 2,5-DHB. Complete sequence coverage of small peptide and intact protein-terminus sequence tags were obtained and confirmed using HCD as a pseudo-MS3 method. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.
Keywords: In-source decay; MALDI; MS/MS; Pseudo MS3; T3 sequencing.