Radical solutions: Principles and application of electron‐based dissociation in mass spectrometry‐based analysis of protein structure

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Feb 9, 2018
  • Author: Frederik Lermyte, Dirk Valkenborg, Joseph A. Loo, Frank Sobott
  • Journal: Mass Spectrometry Reviews

In recent years, electron capture (ECD) and electron transfer dissociation (ETD) have emerged as two of the most useful methods in mass spectrometry‐based protein analysis, evidenced by a considerable and growing body of literature. In large part, the interest in these methods is due to their ability to induce backbone fragmentation with very little disruption of noncovalent interactions which allows inference of information regarding higher order structure from the observed fragmentation behavior. Here, we review the evolution of electron‐based dissociation methods, and pay particular attention to their application in “native” mass spectrometry, their mechanism, determinants of fragmentation behavior, and recent developments in available instrumentation. Although we focus on the two most widely used methods—ECD and ETD—we also discuss the use of other ion/electron, ion/ion, and ion/neutral fragmentation methods, useful for interrogation of a range of classes of biomolecules in positive‐ and negative‐ion mode, and speculate about how this exciting field might evolve in the coming years.

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