, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1549-1561

An ion trap-ion mobility-time of flight mass spectrometer with three ion sources for ion/ion reactions


This instrument combines the capabilities of ion/ion reactions with ion mobility (IM) and time-of-flight (TOF) measurements for conformation studies and top-down analysis of large biomolecules. Ubiquitin ions from either of two electrospray ionization (ESI) sources are stored in a three dimensional (3D) ion trap (IT) and reacted with negative ions from atmospheric sampling glow discharge ionization (ASGDI). The proton transfer reaction products are then separated by IM and analyzed via a TOF mass analyzer. In this way, ubiquitin +7 ions are converted to lower charge states down to +1; the ions in lower charge states tend to be in compact conformations with cross sections down to ∼880 Å2. The duration and magnitude of the ion ejection pulse on the IT exit and the entrance voltage on the IM drift tube can affect the measured distribution of conformers for ubiquitin +7 and +6. Alternatively, protein ions are fragmented by collision-induced dissociation (CID) in the IT, followed by ion/ion reactions to reduce the charge states of the CID product ions, thus simplifying assignment of charge states and fragments using the mobility-resolved tandem mass spectrum. Instrument characteristics and the use of a new ion trap controller and software modifications to control the entire instrument are described.

These authors contributed equally to this work.
Published online May 3, 2009