Mass spectrometric methods for evaluating point mutations

J. Kathleen Lewis, Jennifer R. Krone, Randall W. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Two methods for internally calibrating spectra resulting from the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry analysis of partially digested proteins are described. Partial digestion of proteins results in a large number of ion signals present in the MALDI-TOF mass spectrum, which in turn represent a significant over-sampling of each amino acid present in the analyte. This over-sampling allows ion signals of undisputed origin to be used as internal calibrants for the evaluation of fragments suspected to contain point mutations. Correlated with the correct amino acid sequence, the mass values of all ion signals (calibrants and analytes) are observed to fall into a single low-error data set. Conversely, empirically derived data applied to an incorrect sequence split the data into subsets of different errors. The methods take advantage of the self-consistent nature of data generated during the enzymatic mass mapping of proteins using MALDI-TOF, and they aid in the rapid, sensitive and accurate evaluation of point mutations present in proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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