Electrospray ionization produces multiply charged ions, thereby lowering the mass-to-charge ratio for peptides and small proteins to a range readily accessed by quadrupole ion trap, orbitrap, and ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) mass analyzers (m/z = 400-2000). For Fourier transform mass analyzers (orbitrap and ICR), higher charge also improves signal-to-noise ratio, mass resolution, and mass accuracy. Addition of m-nitrobenzyl alcohol (m-NBA) or sulfolane has previously been shown to increase the charge states of proteins. Moreover, polar aprotic dimethylformamide (DMF) improves chromatographic separation of proteolytic peptides for mass analysis of solution-phase protein hydrogen/deuterium exchange for improved (78-96%) sequence coverage. Here, we show that addition of each of the various modifiers (DMF, thiodiglycol, dimethylacetamide, dimethylsulfoxide, and N-methylpyrrolidone) can significantly increase the charge states of proteins up to 78 kDa. Moreover, incorporation of the same modifiers into reversed-phase liquid chromatography solvents improves sensitivity, charging, and chromatographic resolution for intact proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry