Collision-induced dissociation (CID) tandemmass spectrometry (MS/MS) does not allow the characterization of glycopeptides because of the fragmentation of glycan structures and limited fragmentation of peptide backbones. Electron transfer dissociation (ETD) MS/MS, on the other hand, offers a complementary approach, prompting only peptide backbone fragmentation while keeping post-translational modifications intact. Characterization of glycopeptides using both CID and ETD is summarized in this unit. While CID provides information related to the composition of glycan moieties attached to a peptide backbone, ETD permits de novo sequencing of peptides. Radical anion transfer of electrons to the peptide backbone in ETD induces cleavage of the N-Cα bond. The glycan moiety is retained on the peptide backbone, largely unaffected by the ETD process, thus allowing the identification of the amino acid sequence of a glycopeptide and its glycosylation site. This unit discusses the use of both CID and ETD for better characterization of glycopeptides.
- Tandem mass spectrometry