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ERIC Number: EJ820900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Incorporating Biological Mass Spectrometry into Undergraduate Teaching Labs, Part 1: Identifying Proteins Based on Molecular Mass
Arnquist, Isaac J.; Beussman, Douglas J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v84 n12 p1971-1973 Dec 2007
Biological mass spectrometry is an important analytical technique in drug discovery, proteomics, and research at the biology-chemistry interface. Currently, few hands-on opportunities exist for undergraduate students to learn about this technique. With the 2002 Nobel Prize being awarded, in part, for the development of biological mass spectrometry, more academic institutions will hopefully incorporate these techniques into their curricula. We present the first in a series of experiments designed to introduce students to the analysis of biological molecules using mass spectrometry. In this experiment, students analyze a medium-sized protein using electrospray ionization and identify it based on molecular weight. Since electrospray ionization produces multiply charged ions and since isotopic distributions cannot be easily observed for highly charged ions, a mathematical treatment of sequentially charged ions is used to determine the charge state on the ion signals and thus calculate the molecular weight. Averages of several differently-charged ion signals from the same analyte are used to obtain an average molecular weight. We have included several representative protein spectra, suitable for classroom use, in the Supplemental Material. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 2 notes.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A