The EPITOPES setup will be based on high performance Mass Spectrometry (MS) with high power tunable mid InfraRed (IR) optical spectroscopy and with Electron Capture Dissociation (ECD) in order to achieve structural characterization of isolated peptides, proteins, specifically non covalent bound complexes and of catalytically active transition metal complexes and clusters.
Transdisciplinary interactions between Chemists, Physicists, and Biologists involved in EPITOPES will be the key of the success of this project, and the PhD and postdoctoral students will also benefit from these exchanges of knowledge. MS will take place through Fourier-Transform-Ion-Cyclotron-Resonance (FT-ICR) and will allow performing Infrared-Multi-Photon Dissociation (IR-MPD) spectroscopy in combination with ECD.
We will use the unique features, wide tunability and high brightness of a Free-Electron Laser to cover the 600-3300 cm-1 ???fingerprint??? range and thereby provide a wealth of structural information not hitherto accessible. This original combination of tunable-IR-MPD with ECD is expected to extend the efficiency of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) on large biomolecular complexes yet retaining a high specificity in fragmentation patterns.
Progress in spectral assignment will be made possible by a bottom up approach from small to large species, with intimate coupling with state-of-the-art quantum mechanical strategies for the assignment of IR spectra. Our EPITOPES project is unprecedented and as such involves some risk. Our demonstration experiments succeeded but overall performance must be improved to extend the range of molecules to be studied.
Concurrent projects are being developed in the US and Japan, partly based on our preliminary results. Keeping a degree of advance of the European capability requires both rapid up-scaling and a new step forward. Our EPITOPES project does not fall exclusively into a single of the given FP6 thematic priorities (other than NEST-ADVENTURE).
Field of science
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/spectroscopy
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/mass spectrometry
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/observational astronomy/infrared astronomy
Call for proposal
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