Optimized orbitrap HCD for quantitative analysis of phosphopeptides
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- Zhang, Y., Ficarro, S.B., Li, S. et al. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom (2009) 20: 1425. doi:10.1016/j.jasms.2009.03.019
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Despite the tremendous commercial success of radio frequency quadrupole ion traps for bottom-up proteomics studies, there is growing evidence that peptides decorated with labile post-translational modifications are less amenable to low-energy, resonate excitation MS/MS analysis. Moreover, multiplexed stable isotope reagents designed for MS/MS-based quantification of peptides rely on accurate and robust detection of low-mass fragments for all precursors. Collectively these observations suggest that beam-type or tandem in-space MS/MS measurements, such as that available on traditional triple quadrupole mass spectrometers, may provide beneficial figures of merit for quantitative proteomics analyses. The recent introduction of a multipole collision cell adjacent to an Orbitrap mass analyzer provides for higher energy collisionally activated dissociation (HCD) with efficient capture of fragment ions over a wide mass range. Here we describe optimization of various instrument and post-acquisition parameters that collectively provide for quantification of iTRAQ-labeled phosphorylated peptides isolated from complex cell lysates. Peptides spanning a concentration dynamic range of 100:1 are readily quantified. Our results indicate that appropriate parameterization of collision energy as a function of precursor m/z and z provides for optimal performance in terms of peptide identification and relative quantification by iTRAQ. Using this approach, we readily identify activated signaling pathways downstream of oncogenic mutants of Flt-3 kinase in a model system of human myeloid leukemia.