On-line capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry for the analysis of biomolecules.Electrophoresis. 2004 Jul; 25(14):2257-81.E
Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a key tool for the characterization of biologically relevant molecules in the last decade. Due to the complexity of most biological samples an upstream separation is essential. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) has gained much interest due to its high separation efficiency, speed, and often complementary selectivity to liquid chromatography. We describe the state-of-the-art of on-line CE-MS for the analysis of molecules of biological origin. The characterization of peptides, including the study of post-translational modifications, intact proteins, oligonucleotides, and related interaction studies are reviewed. Relevant publications are summarized in tables, including some important method parameters. Key applications are discussed with respect to the advantages and limitations of CE-MS. Coupling interfaces, preconcentration techniques, capillary coatings, and the different CE techniques, e.g., capillary zone electrophoresis, capillary isoelectric focusing, capillary gel electrophoresis, etc. are briefly discussed against the background of their bioanalytical applications.