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      Isotopologue distributions of peptide product ions by tandem mass spectrometry: quantitation of low levels of deuterium incorporation.

      Analytical Biochemistry

      Animals, Blood Chemical Analysis, methods, statistics & numerical data, Deuterium, analysis, Deuterium Oxide, administration & dosage, Ions, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Models, Chemical, Peptides, chemistry, Serum Albumin, Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization, Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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          Protonated molecular peptide ions and their product ions generated by tandem mass spectrometry appear as isotopologue clusters due to the natural isotopic variations of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Quantitation of the isotopic composition of peptides can be employed in experiments involving isotope effects, isotope exchange, and isotopic labeling by chemical reactions and in studies of metabolism by stable isotope incorporation. Both ion trap and quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry are shown to be capable of determining the isotopic composition of peptide product ions obtained by tandem mass spectrometry with both precision and accuracy. Tandem mass spectra of clusters of isotopologue ions obtained in profile mode are fit by nonlinear least squares to a series of Gaussian peaks which quantify the Mn/M0 values which define the isotopologue distribution (ID). To determine the isotopic composition of product ions from their ID, a new algorithm that predicts the Mn/M0 ratios and obviates the need to determine the intensity of all of the ions of an ID is developed. Consequently a precise and accurate determination of the isotopic composition of a product ion may be obtained from only the initial values of the ID, however, the entire isotopologue cluster must be isolated prior to fragmentation. Following optimization of the molecular ion isolation width, fragmentation energy, and detector sensitivity, the presence of isotopic excess (2H, 13C, 15N, 18O) is readily determined within 1%. The ability to determine the isotopic composition of sequential product ions permits the isotopic composition of individual amino acid residues in the precursor ion to be determined.

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