Avoiding H/D Scrambling with Minimal Ion Transmission Loss for HDX-MS/MS-ETD Analysis on a High-Resolution Q-TOF Mass Spectrometer

Daniel T Weltz Wollenberg, Stuart Pengelley, Jeppe Christian Mouritsen, Detlev Suckau, Christian Isak Jørgensen, Thomas J D Jørgensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Hydrogen/deuterium exchange monitored by mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) enables the study of protein dynamics by measuring the time-resolved deuterium incorporation into a protein incubated in D2O. Using electron-based fragmentation in the gas phase it is possible to measure deuterium uptake at single-residue resolution. However, a prerequisite for this approach is that the solution-phase labeling is conserved in the gas phase prior to precursor fragmentation. It is therefore essential to reduce or even avoid intramolecular hydrogen/deuterium migration, which causes randomization of the deuterium labels along the peptide (hydrogen scrambling). Here, we describe an optimization strategy for reducing scrambling to a negligible level while minimizing the impact on sensitivity on a high-resolution Q-TOF equipped with ETD and an electrospray ionization interface consisting of a glass transfer capillary followed by a dual ion funnel. In our strategy we narrowed down the optimization to two accelerating potentials, and we defined the optimization of these in a simple rule by accounting for their interdependency in relation to scrambling and transmission efficiency. Using this rule, we were able to reduce scrambling from 75% to below 5% on average using the highly scrambling-sensitive quadruply charged P1 peptide scrambling probe resulting in a minor 33% transmission loss. To demonstrate the applicability of this approach, we probe the dynamics of certain regions in cytochrome c.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)7453–7461
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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