Evidence for Sequence Scrambling in Collision-Induced Dissociation of y-Type Fragment Ions
Sequence scrambling from y-type fragment ions has not been previously reported. In a study designed to probe structural variations among b-type fragment ions, it was noted that y fragment ions might also yield sequence-scrambled ions. In this study, we examined the possibility and extent of sequence-scrambled fragment ion generation from collision-induced dissociation (CID) of y-type ions from four peptides (all containing basic residues near the C-terminus) including: AAAAHAA-NH2 (where “A” denotes carbon thirteen (13C1) isotope on the alanine carbonyl group), des-acetylated-α-melanocyte (SYSMEHFRWGKPV-NH2), angiotensin II antipeptide (EGVYVHPV), and glu-fibrinopeptide b (EGVNDNEEGFFSAR). We investigated fragmentation patterns of 32 y-type fragment ions, including y fragment ions with different charge states (+1 to +3) and sizes (3 to 12 amino acids). Sequence-scrambled fragment ions were observed from ~50 % (16 out of 32) of the studied y-type ions. However, observed sequence-scrambled ions had low relative intensities from ~0.1 % to a maximum of ~12 %. We present and discuss potential mechanisms for generation of sequence-scrambled fragment ions. To the best of our knowledge, results on y fragment dissociation presented here provide the first experimental evidence for generation of sequence-scrambled fragments from CID of y ions through intermediate cyclic “b-type” ions.
Key wordsCollision-induced dissociation (CID) Mass spectrometry (MS) Peptide fragmentation Sequence scrambling y Fragment
The Authors thank Baylor University for financial support. They thank Dr. Behrooz Zekvat for helpful discussions on CID data. The authors express their gratitude to reviewers of a previous paper  for their thoughtful comments and questions that led us to explore y-fragment ion scramblings.
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