Advances in Peptide and Protein Sequencing by High Performance Tandem Mass Spectrometry
The development of fast atom bombardment (FAB) ionization has made it possible to obtain mass spectrometric information from peptides and small proteins (Barber et al 1981). This ionization involves transfer of a proton from a liquid matrix, such as glycerol or another hydroxylated liquid of low vapor pressure, to produce a protonated molecular ion, (M+H)+, which permits the determination of the molecular weight of the compound of interest with an accuracy of a fraction of a mass unit if a double focussing mass spectrometer is used. There is some fragmentation but the resulting signals are of low intensity and often not easily recognized among the many peaks in the spectrum which are due to the matrix.
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