Ion mobility mass spectrometry of peptide, protein, and protein complex ions using a radio-frequency confining drift cell
Ion mobility mass spectrometry experiments enable the characterization of mass, assembly, and shape of biological molecules and assemblies. Here, a new radio-frequency confining drift cell is characterized and used to measure the mobilities of peptide, protein, and protein complex ions. The new drift cell replaced the traveling-wave ion mobility cell in a Waters Synapt G2 HDMS. Methods for operating the drift cell and determining collision cross section values using this experimental set up are presented within the context of the original instrument control software. Collision cross sections for 349 cations and anions are reported, 155 of which are for ions that have not been characterized previously using ion mobility. The values for the remaining ions are similar to those determined using a previous radio-frequency confining drift cell and drift tubes without radial confinement. Using this device under 2 Torr of helium gas and an optimized drift voltage, denatured and native-like ions exhibited average apparent resolving powers of 14.2 and 16.5, respectively. For ions with high mobility, which are also low in mass, the apparent resolving power is limited by contributions from ion gating. In contrast, the arrival-time distributions of low-mobility, native-like ions are not well explained using only contributions from ion gating and diffusion. For those species, the widths of arrival-time distributions are most consistent with the presence of multiple structures in the gas phase.
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