Accurate base composition of double-strand DNA by mass spectrometry

David J. Aaserud, Neil L. Kelleher, Daniel P. Little, Fred W. McLafferty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


An accurate molecular weight (M(r)) assignment for a double-strand (ds) DNA determines or greatly restricts the possible number of each of its four bases, while the compositions for its two single-strand (ss) components can also be derived from their M(r) values. For a ds 64-mer (39 kDa), the ss- M(r) values (±0.5 Da) of its high-resolution mass spectrum from an electro- spray ionization/Fourier transform instrument yield only the correct ds- and ss-base compositions. Literature mass spectra of lower mass accuracy show that such data can also restrict their possible composition assignments, with further discrimination using the abundance vs. base composition of small fragment ions from the dissociation of the ss molecular ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1266-1269
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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