Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM

On-target separation of analyte with 3-aminoquinoline/α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid liquid matrix for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

PMID 22328224


3-Aminoquinoline/α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (3AQ/CHCA) is a liquid matrix (LM), which was reported by Kumar et al. in 1996 for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry. It is a viscous liquid and has some advantages of durability of ion generation by a self-healing surface and quantitative performance. In this study, we found a novel aspect of 3AQ/CHCA as a MALDI matrix, which converges hydrophilic material into the center of the droplet of analyte-3AQ/CHCA mixture on a MALDI sample target well during the process of evaporation of water derived from analyte solvent. This feature made it possible to separate not only the buffer components, but also the peptides and oligosaccharides from one another within 3AQ/CHCA. The MALDI imaging analyses of the analyte-3AQ/CHCA droplet indicated that the oligosaccharides and the peptides were distributed in the center and in the whole area around the center of 3AQ/CHCA, respectively. This 'on-target separation' effect was also applicable to glycoprotein digests such as ribonuclease B. These features of 3AQ/CHCA liquid matrix eliminate the requirement for pretreatment, and reduce sample handling losses thus resulting in the improvement of throughput and sensitivity.