Deep-ultraviolet laser ablation electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.
ABSTRACT: A 193-nm wavelength deep ultraviolet laser was used for ambient laser ablation electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of biological samples. A pulsed ArF excimer laser was used to ablate solid samples, and the resulting plume of the desorbed material merged with charged electrospray droplets to form ions that were detected with a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Solutions containing peptide and protein standards up to 66-kDa molecular weight were deposited on a metal target, dried, and analyzed. No fragmentation was observed from peptides and proteins as well as from the more easily fragmented vitamin B12 molecule. The mass spectra contained peaks from multiply charged ions that were identical to conventional electrospray. Deep UV laser ablation of tissue allowed detection of lipids from untreated tissue. The mechanism of ionization is postulated to involve absorption of laser energy by a fraction of the analyte molecules that act as a sacrificial matrix or by residual water in the sample.
Project description:This is the first report of imaging mass spectrometry (MS) from multiply charged ions at vacuum. Laserspray ionization (LSI) was recently extended to applications at vacuum producing electrospray ionization-like multiply charged ions directly from surfaces using a commercial intermediate pressure matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) MS instrument. Here, we developed a strategy to image multiply charged peptide ions. This is achieved by the use of 2-nitrophloroglucinol as matrix for spray deposition onto the tissue section and implementation of "soft" acquisition conditions including lower laser power and ion accelerating voltages similar to electrospray ionization-like conditions. Sufficient ion abundance is generated by the vacuum LSI method to employ IMS separation in imaging multiply charged ions obtained on a commercial mass spectrometer ion source without physical instrument modifications using the laser in the commercially available reflection geometry alignment. IMS gas-phase separation reduces the complexity of the ion signal from the tissue, especially for multiply charged relative to abundant singly charged ions from tissue lipids. We show examples of LSI tissue imaging from charge state +2 of three endogenous peptides consisting of between 1 and 16 amino acid residues from the acetylated N-terminal end of myelin basic protein: mass-to-charge (m/z) 795.81 (+2) molecular weight (MW) 1589.6, m/z 831.35 (+2) MW 1660.7, and m/z 917.40 (+2) MW 1832.8.
Project description:Matrix-assisted ionization vacuum (MAIV) is a novel ionization technique that generates multiply charged ions in vacuum without the use of laser ablation or high voltage. MAIV can be achieved in intermediate-vacuum and high-vacuum matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) sources and electrospray ionization (ESI) sources without instrument modification. Herein, we adapt MAIV onto the MALDI-LTQ-Orbitrap XL platform for biomolecule analysis. As an attractive alternative to MALDI for in solution and in situ analysis of biomolecules, MAIV coupling to high resolution and accurate mass (HRAM) MS instrument has successfully expanded the mass detection range and improved the fragmentation efficiency due to the generation of multiply charged ions. Additionally, the softness of MAIV enables potential application in labile post-translational modification (PTM) analysis. In this study, proteins as large as 18.7 kDa were detected with up to 18 charges; intact peptides with labile PTM were well preserved during the ionization process and characterized MS/MS; peptides and proteins in complex tissue samples were detected and identified both in liquid extracts and in situ. Moreover, we demonstrated that this method facilitates MS/MS analysis with improved fragmentation efficiency compared to MALDI-MS/MS.
Project description:We have developed an atmospheric pressure ionization technique called liquid matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization (liq-MALDESI) for the generation of multiply charged ions by laser desorption from liquid samples deposited onto a stainless steel sample target biased at a high potential. This variant of our previously reported MALDESI source does not utilize an ESI emitter to postionize neutrals. Conversely, we report desorption and ionization from a macroscopic charged droplet. We demonstrate high mass resolving power single-acquisition FT-ICR-MS analysis of peptides and proteins ranging from 1 to 8.6 kDa at atmospheric pressure. The liquid sample acts as a macroscopic charged droplet similar to those generated by electrospray ionization, whereby laser irradiation desorbs analyte from organic matrix containing charged droplets generating multiply charged ions. We have observed a singly charged radical cation of an electrochemically active species indicating oxidation occurs for analytes and therefore water; the latter would play a key role in the mechanism of ionization. Moreover, we demonstrate an increase in ion abundance and a concurrent decrease in surface tension with an increase in the applied potential.
Project description:Desorption electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) has advantages for rapid sample analysis with little or no sample pretreatment, but performance for large biomolecules has not been demonstrated. In this study, liquid sample DESI, an extended version of DESI used for analysis of liquid samples, was shown to have capabilities for direct ionization of large noncovalent protein complexes (>45 kDa) and proteins (up to 150 kDa). Protein complex ions (e.g., superoxide dismutase, enolase, and hemoglobin) desorbed from solution by liquid sample DESI were measured intact, indicating the capability of DESI for preserving weak noncovalent interactions. Doping the DESI spray solvent with supercharging reagents resulted in protein complex ions having increased multiple charging without complex dissociation. Ion mobility measurements of model protein cytochrome c showed that the supercharging reagent favored the more compact conformation for the lower charged protein ions. Liquid sample DESI of hydrophobic peptide gramicidin D suggests that the ionization mechanism involves a droplet pick-up mixing process. Measurement of liquid samples significantly extends the mass range of DESI-MS, allowing the analysis of high-mass proteins such as 150 kDa immunoglobulin G (IgG) and thus represents the largest protein successfully ionized by DESI to date.
Project description:Understanding protein structure is vital for evaluating protein interactions with drugs, proteins, and other ligands. Native mass spectrometry (MS) is proving to be invaluable for this purpose, enabling analysis of "native-like" samples that mimic physiological conditions. Native MS is usually performed by electrospray ionization (ESI) with its soft ionization processes and the generation of multiply charged ions proving favorable for conformation retention and high mass analysis, respectively. There is scope to expand the currently available toolset, specifically to other soft ionization techniques such as soft laser desorption, for applications in areas like high-throughput screening and MS imaging. In this Letter, observations made from native MS experiments using an ultraviolet (UV) laser-based ion source operating at atmospheric pressure are described. The ion source is capable of producing predominately multiply charged ions similar to ESI. Proteins and protein complexes were analyzed from a native-like sample droplet to investigate the technique. Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) measurements showed that folded protein conformations were detected for ions with low charge states. This observation indicates the source is suitable for native MS analysis and should be further developed for higher mass analysis in the future.
Project description:This represents the first report of laserspray ionization vacuum (LSIV) with operation directly from atmospheric pressure for use in mass spectrometry. Two different types of electrospray ionization source inlets were converted to LSIV sources by equipping the entrance of the atmospheric pressure inlet aperture with a customized cone that is sealed with a removable glass plate holding the matrix/analyte sample. A laser aligned in transmission geometry (at 180° relative to the inlet) ablates the matrix/analyte sample deposited on the vacuum side of the glass slide. Laser ablation from vacuum requires lower inlet temperature relative to laser ablation at atmospheric pressure. However, higher inlet temperature is required for high-mass analytes, for example, ?-chymotrypsinogen (25.6 kDa). Labile compounds such as gangliosides and cardiolipins are detected in the negative ion mode directly from mouse brain tissue as intact doubly deprotonated ions. Multiple charging enhances the ion mobility spectrometry separation of ions derived from complex tissue samples.
Project description:Matrix-assisted ionization (MAI) is a recently developed ionization technique that produces multiply charged ions on either electrospray ionization (ESI) or matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) platform without the need of high voltage or laser ablation. In this study, MAI has been coupled to a high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) hybrid instrument, the Orbitrap Elite mass spectrometer, with electron transfer dissociation (ETD) module for fast peptide and intact protein characterization. The softness of MAI process preserves labile post-translational modifications (PTM) and allows fragmentation and localization by ETD. Moreover, MAI on ESI platform allows rapid sample preparation and analysis (~ 1 min/sample) due to the easiness of sample introduction. It significantly improves the throughput compared to ESI direct infusion and MAI on MALDI platform, which usually takes more than 10 min/sample. Intact protein standards, protein mixtures, and neural tissue extracts have been characterized using this instrument platform with both full MS and MS/MS (CID, HCD, and ETD) analyses. Furthermore, the performances of ESI, MALDI, and MAI on both platforms have been tested to provide a systematic comparison among these techniques. With improved ETD performance and PTM analysis capabilities, we anticipate that the HRAM MAI-MS with ETD module will offer greater utilities in large molecule characterization with enhanced speed and coverage. These advancements will enable promising applications in bottom-up and top-down protein analyses. Graphical abstract Matrix-assisted ionization (MAI) for characterizing intact proteins and post-translational modifications with representative mass spectra from intact proteins.
Project description:Photooxidation of peptides and proteins by pulsed ultraviolet laser irradiation of an electrospray in the ion source of a mass spectrometer was demonstrated. A 193-nm excimer laser at 1.5-mJ pulse energy was focused with a cylindrical lens at the exit of a nanoelectrospray capillary and ions were sampled into a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. A solution containing a peptide or protein and hydrogen peroxide was infused into the spray at a flow rate of 1 ?L/min using a syringe pump. The laser creates OH radicals directly in the spray which modify biomolecules within the spray droplet. These results indicate that photochemical oxidation of proteins can be initiated directly within electrospray droplets and detected by mass spectrometry.
Project description:Direct analysis of synthetic fibers under ambient conditions is highly desired to identify the polymer, the finishes applied and irregularities that may compromise its performance and value. In this paper, laser ablation electrospray ionization ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LAESI-IMS-TOF-MS) was used for the analysis of synthetic polymers and fibers. The key to this analysis was the absorption of laser light by aliphatic and aromatic nitrogen functionalities in the polymers. Analysis of polyamide (PA) 6, 46, 66, and 12 pellets and PA 6, 66, polyaramid and M5 fibers yielded characteristic fragment ions without any sample pretreatment, enabling their unambiguous identification. Synthetic fibers are, in addition, commonly covered with a surface layer for improved adhesion and processing. The same setup, but operated in a transient infrared matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization (IR-MALDESI) mode, allowed the detailed characterization of the fiber finish layer and the underlying polymer. Differences in finish layer distribution may cause variations in local properties of synthetic fibers. Here we also show the feasibility of mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of the distribution of a finish layer on the synthetic fiber and the successful detection of local surface defects.
Project description:The systematic study of the temperature and pressure dependence of matrix-assisted ionization (MAI) led us to the discovery of the seemingly impossible, initially explained by some reviewers as either sleight of hand or the misinterpretation by an overzealous young scientist of results reported many years before and having little utility. The “magic” that we were attempting to report was that with matrix assistance, molecules, at least as large as bovine serum albumin (66 kDa), are lifted into the gas phase as multiply charged ions simply by exposure of the matrix:analyte sample to the vacuum of a mass spectrometer. Applied heat, a laser, or voltages are not necessary to achieve charge states and ion abundances only previously observed with electrospray ionization (ESI). The fundamentals of how solid phase volatile or nonvolatile compounds are converted to gas-phase ions without added energy currently involves speculation providing a great opportunity to rethink mechanistic understanding of ionization processes used in mass spectrometry. Improved understanding of the mechanism(s) of these processes and their connection to ESI and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization may provide opportunities to further develop new ionization strategies for traditional and yet unforeseen applications of mass spectrometry. This Critical Insights article covers developments leading to the discovery of a seemingly magic ionization process that is simple to use, fast, sensitive, robust, and can be directly applied to surface characterization using portable or high performance mass spectrometers.