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Structural characterization of synthetic peptides using electronspray ion mobility spectrometry and molecular dynamics simulations

  • Electrospray ionization-ion mobility spectrometry was employed for the determination of collision cross sections (CCS) of 25 synthetically produced peptides in the mass range between 540–3310 Da. The experimental measurement of the CCS is complemented by their calculation applying two different methods. One prediction method is the intrinsic size parameter (ISP) method developed by the Clemmer group. The second new method is based on the evaluation of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories as a whole, resulting in a single, averaged collision cross-section value for a given peptide in the gas phase. A high temperature MD simulation is run in order to scan through the whole conformational space. The lower temperature conformational distribution is obtained through thermodynamic reweighting. In the first part, various correlations, e.g. CCS vs. mass and inverse mobility vs. m/z correlations, are presented. Differences in CCS between peptides are also discussed in terms of their respective mass and m/z differences, as well as their respective structures. In the second part, measured and calculated CCS are compared. The agreement between the prediction results and the experimental values is in the same range for both calculation methods. While the calculation effort of the ISP method is much lower, the MD method comprises several tools providing deeper insights into the conformations of peptides. Advantages and limitations of both methods are discussed. Based on the separation of two pairs of linear and cyclic peptides of virtually the same mass, the influence of the structure on the cross sections is discussed. The shift in cross section differences and peak shape after transition from the linear to the cyclic peptide can be well understood by applying different MD tools, e.g. the root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) and the root mean square fluctuation (RMSF).

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Author:José Villatoro, Marcus Weber, Martin Zühlke, Andreas Lehmann, Karl Zechiowski, Daniel Riebe, Toralf Beitz, Hans-Gerd Löhmannsröben, Oliver Kreuzer
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
First Page:108
Last Page:117
Year of first publication:2019
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