Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) play an essential role in the analysis of biological molecules, not only peptides and proteins, but also DNA and RNA. Tandem mass spectrometry used for sequence analysis has been a major focus of technological developments in mass spectrometry, but accurate mass measurements by high-resolution TOFMS are equally important. This paper describes the role that high mass measurement accuracy can play in DNA composition assignment and discusses the influence of several parameters on mass measurement accuracy in both MALDI and ESI mass spectra. Five oligonucleotides (5-13mers) were used to test the resolving power and mass measurement accuracy obtained with MALDI and ESI instruments with reflectron TOF mass analyzers. The results from the experimental studies and additional theoretical calculations provide a basis to predict the practical utility of high-resolution TOFMS for the analysis of larger oligonucleotides.
- Accurate mass measurement
- Time-of-flight mass spectrometry
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