, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp 1194-1202

Effects of heavy gases on the tandem mass spectra of peptide ions in the quadrupole ion trap

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Heavy gases (xenon, argon, krypton, methane) have been used to improve the performance of the quadrupole ion trap when performing collision-induced dissociation on peptides. MS/MS spectra reveal that increased amounts of internal energy can be deposited into peptide ions and more structural information can be obtained. Specifically, the pulsed introduction of the heavy gases (as reported previously by Doroshenko, V. M.; Cotter, R. J. Anal. Chem. 1996, 68, 463) provides greater energy deposition without the deleterious effects that static pressures of heavy gas have on spectra. Internal energy deposition as indicated by a qualitative evaluation of MS/MS spectra shows pulsed introduction of heavy gases enables ions to obtain more internal energy than possible by using static pressures of the same heavy gases. A linear correlation is observed between the percentage of heavy gas added and the ratio of product ions used to reflect internal energy deposition. Results here also show that upon pulsed introduction of heavy gases, empirical optimization of a single frequency resonant excitation signal is no longer needed to obtain good MS/MS spectrometry efficiency. The presence of many low mass-to-charge ratio ions and the absence of side chain cleavages in the MS/MS spectra of peptides suggests that the propensity for consecutive fragmentations is increased with the pulsed introduction of heavy gases. In addition, by varying the delay time between introduction of the gas and application of the resonant excitation signal, the amount of fragmentation observed in MS/MS spectra can be changed.