, a bio/informatics shared resource is still "open for business" - Visit the CDS website
The primary utility of trypsin digestion in proteomics is that it cleaves proteins at predictable locations, but it is also notable for yielding peptides that terminate in basic arginine and lysine residues. Tryptic peptides fragment in ion trap tandem mass spectrometry to produce prominent C-terminal y series ions. Alternative proteolytic digests may produce peptides that do not follow these rules. In this study, we examine 2568 peptides generated through proteinase K digestion, a technique that produces a greater diversity of basic residue content in peptides. We show that the position of basic residues within peptides influences the peak intensities of b and y series ions; a basic residue near the N-terminus of a peptide can lead to prominent b series peaks rather than the intense y series peaks associated with tryptic peptides. The effects of presence and position for arginine, lysine, and histidine are explored separately and in combination. Arg shows the most dominant effects followed by His and then by Lys. Fragment ions containing basic residues produce more intense peaks than those without basic residues. Doubly charged precursor ions have generally been modeled as producing only singly charged fragment ions, but fragment ions that contain two basic residues may accept both protons during fragmentation. By characterizing the influence of basic residues on gas-phase fragmentation of peptides, this research makes possible more accurate fragmentation models for peptide identification algorithms.