Basic matrices for the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry of proteins and oligonucleotides.
In order to examine the importance of pH in the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) analysis of proteins and oligonucleotides, 37 highly substituted pyrimidine, pyridine, and benzene derivatives containing basic amino groups were screened as potential matrices. Several of these compounds were useful for the preparation and analysis of samples under neutral and basic pH conditions. The matrix, 2-amino-4-methyl-5-nitropyridine, gave good results with small proteins (up to approximately 12,000 Da). The best results with oligonucleotides were obtained with 2-amino-5-nitropyridine, which was a useful matrix for the analysis of mixed-base oligonucleotides smaller than 20 nucleotides in length and homopolymers of thymidine. In general, oligonucleotide analysis using basic matrices was found to be subject to similar constraints of size and base composition that hold when acidic matrices are used. A major advantage of these newly discovered matrix materials over the more commonly used acidic matrices is that they extend the utility of MALDI to the analysis of acid-sensitive species.
Fitzgerald, MC; Parr, GR; Smith, LM
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