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Capillary Electrophoresis/Mass Spectrometry in Peptide and Protein Analysis

Peptides and Proteins

  1. Andy J. Tomlinson1,
  2. Stephen Naylor2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1606

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Tomlinson, A. J. and Naylor, S. 2006. Capillary Electrophoresis/Mass Spectrometry in Peptide and Protein Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Pangaea Pharmaceuticals Inc., ZYCOS Inc., (formerly) Cambridge, USA

  2. 2

    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The focus of this article is to describe the developments of capillary electrophoresis (CE) on-line with detection by mass spectrometry (MS) for the analysis of peptides and proteins. Following a brief introduction in which we discuss the increasing role of the mass spectrometer for characterizing these important biomolecules, we present a historical overview of capillary electrophoresis/mass spectrometry (CE/MS). The latter discussion describes the experiments that allowed the connection of CE with MS, through developments to increase the volumes of analyte solutions that can be analyzed, to the current investigations of microfabricated chips that bring CE/MS towards a nano-scale technology. We also consider the technical aspects of CE/MS, which include how to inject analyte mixtures into the capillary, ways to improve the concentration sensitivity of the technique, the optimal capillary surface technology to use, and considerations of buffer compositions that are compatible with on-line MS detection. Other practical issues, including the physical connection between the CE and MS components, along with sample preparation and sequencing peptides by this technology are also reviewed. In the final section, the future of CE/MS is contemplated, with particular emphasis on the current developments of nanotechnologies that include the interfacing of microchip-based CE with MS.