Exploring ECD on a Benchtop Q Exactive Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Kyle L Fort
  • Christian N. Cramer
  • Valery G Voinov
  • Yury V Vasil'ev
  • Nathan I Lopez
  • Joseph S Beckman
  • Albert J R Heck

As the application of mass spectrometry intensifies in scope and diversity, the need for advanced instrumentation addressing a wide variety of analytical needs also increases. To this end, many modern, top-end mass spectrometers are designed or modified to include a wider range of fragmentation technologies, for example, ECD, ETD, EThcD, and UVPD. Still, the majority of instrument platforms are limited to more conventional methods, such as CID and HCD. While these latter methods have performed well, the less conventional fragmentation methods have been shown to lead to increased information in many applications including middle-down proteomics, top-down proteomics, glycoproteomics, and disulfide bond mapping. We describe the modification of the popular Q Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer to extend its fragmentation capabilities to include ECD. We show that this modification allows ≥85% matched ion intensity to originate from ECD fragment ion types as well as provides high sequence coverage (≥60%) of intact proteins and high fragment identification rates with ∼70% of ion signals matched. Finally, the ECD implementation promotes selective disulfide bond dissociation, facilitating the identification of disulfide-linked peptide conjugates. Collectively, this modification extends the capabilities of the Q Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer to a range of new applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)926-933
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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