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Thermo Fisher Scientific Mass Spectrometers Drive Breakthroughs in Proteomics Research

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today announced that Thermo Scientific mass spectrometers continue to power breakthroughs in proteomics research as evidenced by recent publications in the prestigious journals Nature and Nature Methods.

The unique capabilities of Thermo Scientific mass spectrometer systems played pivotal roles in 13 high-impact articles published in just over a month, from October 2 through November 6, 2011.

"The volume of preeminent articles using Thermo Scientific mass spectrometers published in a short timeframe highlights our leadership in providing technologies that address key challenges in proteomics," said Ian Jardine, chief technology officer, Analytical Instruments Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "For example, leading researchers are already taking advantage of the ultra-high resolution and speed of our new Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Elite hybrid mass spectrometer, to substantially increase the information obtained from top-down proteomics experiments."

In the articles, Thermo Scientific ion trap, triple quadrupole and Orbitrap-based mass spectrometers were used to advance important goals in proteomics: increasing the information produced by large-scale top-down proteomic studies, enhancing the quantitative accuracy of isobaric tagging methods, improving the productivity of glycoproteomics, and accelerating the pace of targeted quantitative discovery. Examples include:

Mapping intact protein isoforms in discovery mode using top-down proteomics is the most successful, large-scale top-down proteomic study published to date. The authors presented a four-dimensional approach in which the Orbitrap EliteTM and Thermo Scientific LTQ FT mass spectrometers were used to produce 20-fold increases in separating power and proteome coverage, on a liquid chromatography (LC) time scale.

MS3 eliminates ratio distortion in isobaric multiplexed quantitative proteomics presents a method to improve the accuracy and precision of quantitative data obtained from isobaric labeling experiments. The authors used the additional round of fragmentation (MS3) produced by the Thermo Scientific LTQ Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer to reduce interferences from contaminating isobaric ions.

Gas-phase purification enables accurate, multiplexed proteome quantification with isobaric tagging also presented a method to reduce interferences and improved results when quantifying using isobaric labeling. The authors used the electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) on an LTQ Orbitrap VelosTM mass spectrometer to charge-reduce precursor ions. Once charge-reduced, the ions no longer exhibited overlapping m/z and thus no longer interfered with each other during quantification.

Nature is a weekly international journal publishing the finest peer-reviewed research. It is the world's most highly cited interdisciplinary science journal, according to the 2010 Journal Citation Reports Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011). While most scientific journals are now highly specialized, Nature is among the few journals that still publish original research articles across a wide range of scientific fields.

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