Conformational ordering of biomolecules in the gas phase: nitrogen collision cross sections measured on a prototype high resolution drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometer.

May JC, Goodwin CR, Lareau NM, Leaptrot KL, Morris CB, Kurulugama RT, Mordehai A, Klein C, Barry W, Darland E, Overney G, Imatani K, Stafford GC, Fjeldsted JC, McLean JA
Anal Chem. 2014 86 (4): 2107-16

PMID: 24446877 · PMCID: PMC3931330 · DOI:10.1021/ac4038448

Ion mobility-mass spectrometry measurements which describe the gas-phase scaling of molecular size and mass are of both fundamental and pragmatic utility. Fundamentally, such measurements expand our understanding of intrinsic intramolecular folding forces in the absence of solvent. Practically, reproducible transport properties, such as gas-phase collision cross-section (CCS), are analytically useful metrics for identification and characterization purposes. Here, we report 594 CCS values obtained in nitrogen drift gas on an electrostatic drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) instrument. The instrument platform is a newly developed prototype incorporating a uniform-field drift tube bracketed by electrodynamic ion funnels and coupled to a high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The CCS values reported here are of high experimental precision (±0.5% or better) and represent four chemically distinct classes of molecules (quaternary ammonium salts, lipids, peptides, and carbohydrates), which enables structural comparisons to be made between molecules of different chemical compositions for the rapid "omni-omic" characterization of complex biological samples. Comparisons made between helium and nitrogen-derived CCS measurements demonstrate that nitrogen CCS values are systematically larger than helium values; however, general separation trends between chemical classes are retained regardless of the drift gas. These results underscore that, for the highest CCS accuracy, care must be exercised when utilizing helium-derived CCS values to calibrate measurements obtained in nitrogen, as is the common practice in the field.

MeSH Terms (7)

Carbohydrates Gases Lipids Mass Spectrometry Nitrogen Phase Transition Spectrometry, Mass, Secondary Ion

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