A sulfoxide-based isobaric labelling reagent for accurate quantitative mass spectrometry
Modern proteomics requires reagents for exact quantification of peptides in complex mixtures. Peptide labelling is most typically achieved with isobaric tags that consist of a balancer and a reporter part that separate in the gas phase. An ingenious distribution of stable isotopes provides multiple reagents with identical molecular weight but a different mass of the reporter groups, allowing relative quantification of multiple samples in one measurement. Current generation reagents require a high fragmentation energy for cleavage, leading to incomplete fragmentation and hence loss of signal intensity. Here we report a new isobaric labelling reagent, where the balancer and the reporter are linked by a sulfoxide group, which, based on the sulfoxide pyrolysis, leads to easy and asymmetric cleavage at low fragmentation energy. The fragmentation of our new design is significantly improved, yielding more intense complementary ion signals, allowing complementary ion cluster analysis as well.