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Abstract

Over the past decade, mass spectrometry has been revolutionized by access to instruments of increasingly high mass-resolving power. For small molecules up to ∼400 Da (e.g., drugs, metabolites, and various natural organic mixtures ranging from foods to petroleum), it is possible to determine elemental compositions (CHNOSP…) of thousands of chemical components simultaneously from accurate mass measurements (the same can be done up to 1000 Da if additional information is included). At higher mass, it becomes possible to identify proteins (including posttranslational modifications) from proteolytic peptides, as well as lipids, glycoconjugates, and other biological components. At even higher mass (∼100,000 Da or higher), it is possible to characterize posttranslational modifications of intact proteins and to map the binding surfaces of large biomolecule complexes. Here we review the principles and techniques of the highest-resolution analytical mass spectrometers (time-of-flight and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance and orbitrap mass analyzers) and describe some representative high-resolution applications.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.anchem.1.031207.112945
2008-07-19
2024-06-15
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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