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Analysis of nucleic acids by FTICR MS



Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry represents a unique platform with which to study nucleic acids and non-covalent complexes containing nucleic acids moieties. In particular, systems in which very high mass measurement accuracy is required, very complex mixtures are to be analyzed, or very limited amounts of sample are available may be uniquely suited to interrogation by FTICR mass spectrometry. Although the FTICR platform is now broadly deployed as an integral component of many high-end proteomics-based research efforts, momentum is still building for the application of the platform towards nucleic acid-based analyses. In this work, we review fundamental aspects of nucleic acid analysis by FTICR, focusing primarily on the analysis of DNA oligonucleotides but also describing applications related to the characterization of RNA constructs. The goal of this review article is to give the reader a sense of the breadth and scope of the status quo of FTICR analysis of nucleic acids and to summarize a few recently published reports in which researchers have exploited the performance attributes of FTICR to characterize nucleic acids in support of basic and applied research disciplines including genotyping, drug discovery, and forensic analyses. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev 24:265–285, 2005