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4-Chloro-alpha-cyanocinnamic acid is an advanced, rationally designed MALDI matrix.

ABSTRACT: Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) has become an enabling technology for the fields of protein mass spectrometry (MS) and proteomics. Despite its widespread use, for example, in protein identification via peptide mass fingerprinting, a comprehensive model for the generation of free gas-phase ions has not yet been developed. All matrices in use today, such as alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA), have been found empirically and stem from the early days of MALDI. By systematic and targeted variation of the functional groups of the alpha-cyanocinnamic acid core unit, 4-chloro-alpha-cyanocinnamic acid (Cl-CCA) was selected and synthesized, and it exhibited outstanding matrix properties. Key features are a substantial increase in sensitivity and a considerably enhanced peptide recovery in proteomic analyses because of a much more uniform response to peptides of different basicity. Using Cl-CCA as a matrix for a 1 fmol bovine serum albumin (BSA) in-solution digest, the sequence coverage is raised to 48%, compared with 4% for CHCA. For a gel band containing 25 fmol of BSA, unambiguous protein identification becomes possible with Cl-CCA. These findings also imply ion formation via a chemical ionization mechanism with proton transfer from a reactive protonated matrix species to the peptide analytes. The considerable increase in performance promises to have a strong impact on future analytical applications of MALDI, because current sensitivity limits are overcome and more comprehensive analyses come into reach.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2527889 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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