Population migration has led to the global dispersion of human hemoglobinopathies and has precipitated a need for their identification. An effective mass spectrometry-based procedure involves analysis of the intact α- and β-globin chains to determine their mass, followed by location of the variant amino acid residue by direct analysis of the enzymatically digested chains and low-energy collision induced dissociation of the variant peptide. Using this procedure, a variant was identified as either β54Val→Leu or β54Val→Ile, since the amino acids leucine and isoleucine cannot be distinguished using low-energy collisions. Here, we describe how hot electron capture dissociation on a Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer was used to distinguish isoleucine from leucine and identify the mutation as β54(D5)Val→Ile. This is a novel variant, and we have named it Hb Askew
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