Pushing the analytical limits: new insights into complex mixtures using mass spectra segments of constant ultrahigh resolving power.
ABSTRACT: A new strategy has been developed for characterization of the most challenging complex mixtures to date, using a combination of custom-designed experiments and a new data pre-processing algorithm. In contrast to traditional methods, the approach enables operation of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) with constant ultrahigh resolution at hitherto inaccessible levels (approximately 3 million FWHM, independent of m/z). The approach, referred to as OCULAR, makes it possible to analyze samples that were previously too complex, even for high field FT-ICR MS instrumentation. Previous FT-ICR MS studies have typically spanned a broad mass range with decreasing resolving power (inversely proportional to m/z) or have used a single, very narrow m/z range to produce data of enhanced resolving power; both methods are of limited effectiveness for complex mixtures spanning a broad mass range, however. To illustrate the enhanced performance due to OCULAR, we show how a record number of unique molecular formulae (244?779 elemental compositions) can be assigned in a single, non-distillable petroleum fraction without the aid of chromatography or dissociation (MS/MS) experiments. The method is equally applicable to other areas of research, can be used with both high field and low field FT-ICR MS instruments to enhance their performance, and represents a step-change in the ability to analyze highly complex samples.
Project description:Mass spectrometry (MS) based top-down proteomics provides rich information about proteoforms arising from combinatorial amino acid sequence variations and post-translational modifications (PTMs). Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) MS affords ultrahigh resolving power and provides high-accuracy mass measurements, presenting a powerful tool for top-down MS characterization of proteoforms. However, the detection and characterization of large proteins from complex mixtures remain challenging due to the exponential decrease in S: N with increasing molecular weight (MW) and coeluting low-MW proteins; thus, size-based fractionation of complex protein mixtures prior to MS analysis is necessary. Here, we directly combine MS-compatible serial size exclusion chromatography (sSEC) fractionation with 12 T FT-ICR MS for targeted top-down characterization of proteins from complex mixtures extracted from human and swine heart tissue. Benefiting from the ultrahigh resolving power of FT-ICR, we isotopically resolved 31 distinct proteoforms (30-50 kDa) simultaneously in a single mass spectrum within a 100 m/ z window. Notably, within a 5 m/ z window, we obtained baseline isotopic resolution for 6 distinct large proteoforms (30-50 kDa). The ultrahigh resolving power of FT-ICR MS combined with sSEC fractionation enabled targeted top-down analysis of large proteoforms (>30 kDa) from the human heart proteome without extensive chromatographic separation or protein purification. Further separation of proteoforms inside the mass spectrometer (in-MS) allowed for isolation of individual proteoforms and targeted electron capture dissociation (ECD), yielding high sequence coverage. sSEC/FT-ICR ECD facilitated the identification and sequence characterization of important metabolic enzymes. This platform, which facilitates deep interrogation of proteoform primary structure, is highly tunable, allows for adjustment of MS and MS/MS parameters in real time, and can be utilized for a variety of complex protein mixtures.
Project description:Detailed characterization of complex biological surfaces by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) requires instrumentation that is capable of high mass resolving power, mass accuracy, and dynamic range. Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) offers the highest mass spectral performance for MALDI MSI experiments, and often reveals molecular features that are unresolved on lower performance instrumentation. Higher magnetic field strength improves all performance characteristics of FT-ICR; mass resolving power improves linearly, while mass accuracy and dynamic range improve quadratically with magnetic field strength. Here, MALDI MSI at 21T is demonstrated for the first time: mass resolving power in excess of 1?600?000 (at m/z 400), root-mean-square mass measurement accuracy below 100 ppb, and dynamic range per pixel over 500:1 were obtained from the direct analysis of biological tissue sections. Molecular features with m/z differences as small as 1.79 mDa were resolved and identified with high mass accuracy. These features allow for the separation and identification of lipids to the underlying structures of tissues. The unique molecular detail, accuracy, sensitivity, and dynamic range combined in a 21T MALDI FT-ICR MSI experiment enable researchers to visualize molecular structures in complex tissues that have remained hidden until now. The instrument described allows for future innovative, such as high-end studies to unravel the complexity of biological, geological, and engineered organic material surfaces with an unsurpassed detail.
Project description:Successful high-throughput characterization of intact proteins from complex biological samples by mass spectrometry requires instrumentation capable of high mass resolving power, mass accuracy, sensitivity, and spectral acquisition rate. These limitations often necessitate the performance of hundreds of LC-MS/MS experiments to obtain reasonable coverage of the targeted proteome, which is still typically limited to molecular weights below 30 kDa. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) recently installed a 21 T FT-ICR mass spectrometer, which is part of the NHMFL FT-ICR User Facility and available to all qualified users. Here we demonstrate top-down LC-21 T FT-ICR MS/MS of intact proteins derived from human colorectal cancer cell lysate. We identified a combined total of 684 unique protein entries observed as 3238 unique proteoforms at a 1% false discovery rate, based on rapid, data-dependent acquisition of collision-induced and electron-transfer dissociation tandem mass spectra from just 40 LC-MS/MS experiments. Our identifications included 372 proteoforms with molecular weights over 30 kDa detected at isotopic resolution, which substantially extends the accessible mass range for high-throughput top-down LC-MS/MS.
Project description:MALDI mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) is a powerful analytical method for achieving 2D localization of compounds from thin sections of typically but not exclusively biological samples. The dynamically harmonized ICR cell (ParaCell) was recently introduced to achieve extreme spectral resolution capable of providing the isotopic fine structure of ions detected in complex samples. The latest improvement in the ICR technology also includes 2ω detection, which significantly reduces the transient time while preserving the nominal mass resolving power of the ICR cell. High-resolution MS images acquired on FT-ICR instruments equipped with 7T and 9.4T superconducting magnets and the dynamically harmonized ICR cell operating at suboptimal parameters suffered severely from the pixel-to-pixel shifting of <i>m</i>/<i>z</i> peaks due to space-charge effects. The resulting profile average mass spectra have depreciated mass measurement accuracy and mass resolving power under the instrument specifications that affect the confidence level of the identified ions. Here, we propose an analytical workflow based on the monitoring of the total ion current to restrain the pixel-to-pixel <i>m</i>/<i>z</i> shift. Adjustment of the laser parameters is proposed to maintain high spectral resolution and mass accuracy measurement within the instrument specifications during MSI analyses. The optimized method has been successfully employed in replicates to perform high-quality MALDI MS images at resolving power (FWHM) above 1,000,000 in the lipid mass range across the whole image for superconducting magnets of 7T and 9.4T using 1 and 2ω detection. Our data also compare favorably with MALDI MSI experiments performed on higher-magnetic-field superconducting magnets, including the 21T MALDI FT-ICR prototype instrument of the NHMFL group at Tallahassee, Florida.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Plant extracts are a reservoir of pharmacologically active substances; however, conventional analytical methods can analyze only a small portion of an extract. Here, we report a high-throughput analytical method capable of determining most phytochemicals in a plant extract and of providing their molecular formulae from a single experiment using ultra-high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (UHR ESI MS). UHR mass profiling was used to analyze natural compounds in a 70% ethanol ginseng extract, which was directly infused into a 15 T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer for less than 10 min without a separation process.<h4>Results</h4>The UHR FT-ICR MS yielded a mass accuracy of 0.5 ppm and a mass resolving power (m/?m) of 1,000,000-270,000 for the range m/z 290-1,100. The mass resolution was sufficient to resolve the isotopic fine structure (IFS) of many compounds in the extract. After noise removal from 1,552 peaks, 405 compounds were detected. The molecular formulae of 123 compounds, including 33 ginsenosides, were determined using the observed IFS, exact monoisotopic mass, and exact mass difference. Liquid chromatography (LC)/FT-ICR MS of the extract was performed to compare the high-throughput performance of UHR ESI FT-ICR MS. The LC/FT-ICR MS detected only 129 compounds, including 19 ginsenosides. The result showed that UHR ESI FT-ICR MS identified three times more compounds than LC/FT-ICR MS and in a relatively shorter time. The molecular formula determination by UHR FT-ICR MS was validated by LC and tandem MS analyses of three known ginsenosides.<h4>Conclusions</h4>UHR mass profiling of a plant extract by 15 T FT-ICR MS showed that multiple compounds were simultaneously detected and their molecular formulae were decisively determined by a single experiment with ultra-high mass resolution and mass accuracy. Simultaneous molecular determination of multiple natural products by UHR ESI FT-ICR MS would be a powerful method to profile a wide range of natural compounds.
Project description:A comparison of different data-independent fragmentation methods combined with LC coupled to high-resolution FT-ICR-MS/MS is presented for top-down MS of protein mixtures. Proteins composing the 20S and 19S proteasome complexes and their PTMs were identified using a 15 T FT-ICR mass spectrometer. The data-independent fragmentation modes with LC timescales allowed for higher duty-cycle measurements that better suit online LC-FT-ICR-MS. Protein top-down dissociation was effected by funnel-skimmer collisionally activated dissociation (FS-CAD) and CASI (continuous accumulation of selected ions)-CAD. The N-termini for 9 of the 14 20S proteasome proteins were found to be modified, and the ?3 protein was found to be phosphorylated; these results are consistent with previous reports. Mass-measurement accuracy with the LC-FT-ICR system for the 20- to 30-kDa 20S proteasome proteins was 1 ppm. The intact mass of the 100-kDa Rpn1 subunit from the 19S proteasome complex regulatory particle was measured with a deviation of 17 ppm. The CASI-CAD technique is a complementary tool for intact-protein fragmentation and is an effective addition to the growing inventory of dissociation methods that are compatible with online protein separation coupled to FT-ICR-MS.
Project description:Two-dimensional mass spectrometry (2D MS) on a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass analyzer allows for tandem mass spectrometry without requiring ion isolation. In the ICR cell, the precursor ion radii are modulated before fragmentation, which results in modulation of the abundance of their fragments. The resulting 2D mass spectrum enables a correlation between the precursor and fragment ions. In a standard broadband 2D MS, the range of precursor ion cyclotron frequencies is determined by the lowest mass-to-charge (m/z) ratio to be fragmented in the 2D MS experiment, which leads to precursor ion m/z ranges that are much wider than necessary, thereby limiting the resolving power for precursor ions and the accuracy of the correlation between the precursor and fragment ions. We present narrowband modulation 2D MS, which increases the precursor ion resolving power by reducing the precursor ion m/z range, with the aim of resolving the fragment ion patterns of overlapping isotopic distributions. In this proof-of-concept study, we compare broadband and narrowband modulation 2D mass spectra of an equimolar mixture of histone peptide isoforms. In narrowband modulation 2D MS, we were able to separate the fragment ion patterns of all 13C isotopes of the different histone peptide forms. We further demonstrate the potential of narrowband 2D MS for label-free quantification of peptides.
Project description:<h4>Rationale</h4>Although mass spectrometry (MS) is routinely used to determine deamination in peptide mixtures, the effects of the choice of ionisation source have not yet been investigated. In particular, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) has become a popular tool with which to measure levels of glutamine deamidation in ancient proteins. Here we use model synthetic peptides to rigorously compare MALDI and electrospray ionisation (ESI).<h4>Methods</h4>We used two synthetic peptides, with glutamine (Q) in one substituted for glutamic acid (E) in the other, to investigate the suitability of MALDI and ESI sources for the assessment of deamidation in peptides using MS. We also compared measurements of the same Q- and E-containing peptide mixtures using two different mass analysers (time-of-flight (TOF) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR)).<h4>Results</h4>When standard mixtures of the Q- and E-containing peptides were analysed using MALDI, under-representation of the E-containing peptide was observed. This observation was consistent between analyses carried out using either TOF or FT-ICR-MS. When the same mixtures were analysed using ESI FT-ICR-MS, no ionisation bias was observed.<h4>Conclusions</h4>MALDI may not be a suitable ionisation method for the determination of deamidation in peptide mixtures. However, ESI was successfully used to determine the ratio in known mixtures of Q- and E-containing peptides. These preliminary observations warrant further investigation into ionisation bias when measuring deamidation in other peptide sequences.
Project description:Molecular composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a hot topic in subjects such as environmental science and geochemistry. Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) has been applied to molecular composition characterization of DOM successfully. However, high instrument and maintenance costs have constrained its wider application. A high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometer (Orbitrap MS) can provide approximately 500,000 resolving power (at m/z 200), which is potentially capable of characterizing the molecular composition of DOM. In this paper, the application of high-resolution Orbitrap MS was evaluated by comparing with FT-ICR MS in the aspect of resolution, mass distribution, detection dynamic range, and isotopic peak intensity ratio. The impact of instrument parameters of Orbitrap MS was further investigated, which includes ionization, ion transfer, and mass detection. The result shows that the high-resolution Orbitrap MS is capable or even preferable for molecular characterization of DOM. However, the peak intensity distributions are dependent on the instrument parameters, which could affect the environmental impact assessment caused by the sample itself. The result indicates that development of a universal and comparable method is of great demand.
Project description:Electrospray ionization (ESI) coupled with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) has been widely used for molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter (DOM). However, ESI FT-ICR MS generally has poor repeatability and reproducibility because of its inherent ionization mechanism and structural characteristics, which severely hindered its application in quantitative analysis of complex mixtures. In this article, we developed an in-house standard method for molecular characterization of DOM by ESI FT-ICR MS. Instead of obtaining reproducible results by determining the instrument parameters, we adopted an approach of object control on the mass spectrum to solve the problem of poor reproducibility. The mass peak shape, resolution, and relative intensity distribution of a natural organic matter standard were adjusted by optimizing the operating conditions to obtain a repeatable result. The quality control sample was run 26 times by the different operators in a 6-month-long period to evaluate the reproducibility. Results showed that the relative standard deviation (%) of repeatability and reproducibility are 1.02 and 2.35 for average H/C, respectively. The in-house standard method has been validated and successfully used for the characterization of more than 4000 DOM samples, which is transferable to other laboratories.