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    Accurate characterization of chemical structures is important to understand their underlying biological mechanisms and functional properties. Mass spectrometry (MS) is a popular tool but is not always sufficient to completely unveil all structural features. For example, although carbohydrates are biologically relevant, their characterization is complicated by numerous levels of isomerism. Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is an interesting complement because it is sensitive to ion conformations and, thus, to isomerism. Furthermore, recent advances have significantly improved the technique: the last generation of Cyclic IMS instruments offers additional capabilities compared to linear IMS instruments, such as an increased resolving power or the possibility to perform tandem ion mobility (IMS/IMS) experiments. During IMS/IMS, an ion is selected based on its ion mobility, fragmented, and reanalyzed to obtain ion mobility information about its fragments. Recent work showed that the mobility profiles of the fragments contained in such IMS/IMS data can act as a fingerprint of a particular glycan and can be used in a molecular networking strategy to organize glycomics datasets in a structurally relevant way. The goal of this protocol is thus to describe how to generate IMS/IMS data, from sample preparation to the final Collision Cross Section (CCS) calibration of the ion mobility dimension that yields reproducible spectra. Taking the example of one representative glycan, this protocol will show how to build an IMS/IMS control sequence on a Cyclic IMS instrument, how to account for this control sequence to translate IMS arrival time into drift time (i.e., the effective separation time applied to the ions), and how to extract the relevant mobility information from the raw data. This protocol is designed to clearly explain the critical points of an IMS/IMS experiment and thus help new Cyclic IMS users perform straightforward and reproducible acquisitions.

    Citation

    Simon Ollivier, Mathieu Fanuel, Hélène Rogniaux, David Ropartz. Using a Cyclic Ion Mobility Spectrometer for Tandem Ion Mobility Experiments. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2022 Jan 20(179)

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    PMID: 35129180

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