Analytical chemistry

Valence parity to distinguish c' and z• ions from electron capture dissociation/electron transfer dissociation of peptides: effects of isomers, isobars, and proteolysis specificity.

PMID 21932844


Valence parity provides a way to distinguish between N-terminal and C-terminal electron capture dissociation/electron transfer dissociation (ECD/ETD) product ions based on their number of hydrogen plus nitrogen atoms determined by accurate mass measurement and forms a basis for de novo peptide sequencing. The effect of mass accuracy (0.1-1 ppm error) on c'/z(•) overlap and unique elemental composition overlap is evaluated for a database of c'/z(•) product ions each based on all possible amino acid combinations and four subset databases containing the same c' ions but with z(•) ions determined by in silico digestion with trypsin, Glu-C, Lys-C, or chymotrypsin. High mass accuracy reduces both c'/z(•) overlap and unique elemental composition overlap. Of the four proteases, trypsin offers slightly better discrimination between N- and C-terminal ECD/ETD peptides. Interestingly, unique elemental composition overlap curves for c'/c' and z(•)/z(•) peptide ions exhibit discontinuities at certain nominal masses for 0.1-1.0 ppm mass error. Also, as noted in the companion article (Polfer et al. Anal. Chem.2011, DOI: 10.1021/ac201624t), the number of ECD/ETD product ion amino acid compositions as a function of nominal mass increases exponentially with mass but with a superimposed modulation due to higher prevalence of certain elemental compositions.