Enhanced digestion efficiency, peptide ionization efficiency, and sequence resolution for protein hydrogen/deuterium exchange monitored by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.
ABSTRACT: Solution-phase hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) monitored by high-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry offers a rapid method to study protein conformations and protein-protein interactions. Pepsin is usually used to digest proteins in HDX and is known for lack of cleavage specificity. To improve digestion efficiency and specificity, we have optimized digestion conditions and cleavage preferences for pepsin and protease type XIII from Aspergillus saitoi. A dilution series of the proteases was used to determine the digestion efficiency for several test proteins. Protease type XIII prefers to cleave on the C-terminal end of basic amino acids and produced the highest number of fragments and the best sequence coverage compared to pepsin or protease type XVIII from Rhizhopus. Furthermore, protease type XIII exhibited much less self-digestion than pepsin and thus is superior for HDX experiments. Many highly overlapped segments from protease type XIII and pepsin digestion, combined with high-resolution FTICR mass spectrometry, provide high sequence resolution (to as few as one or two amino acids) for the assignment of amide hydrogen exchange rate. Our H/D exchange results correlate well with the secondary and tertiary structure of myoglobin. Such assignments of highly overlapped fragments promise to greatly enhance the accuracy and sequence resolution for determining conformational differences resulting from ligand binding or protein-protein interactions.
Project description:The aspartic protease pepsin is less specific than other endoproteinases. Because aspartic proteases like pepsin are active at low pH, they are utilized in hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX MS) experiments for digestion under hydrogen exchange quench conditions. We investigated the reproducibility, both qualitatively and quantitatively, of online and offline pepsin digestion to understand the compliment of reproducible pepsin fragments that can be expected during a typical pepsin digestion. The collection of reproducible peptides was identified from >30 replicate digestions of the same protein and it was found that the number of reproducible peptides produced during pepsin digestion becomes constant above 5-6 replicate digestions. We also investigated a new aspartic protease from the stomach of the rice field eel (Monopterus albus Zuiew) and compared digestion efficiency and specificity to porcine pepsin and aspergillopepsin. Unique cleavage specificity was found for rice field eel pepsin at arginine, asparagine, and glycine. Different peptides produced by the various proteases can enhance protein sequence coverage and improve the spatial resolution of HDX MS data. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mass spectrometry in structural biology.
Project description:The epitopes of a homohexameric food allergen protein, cashew Ana o 2, identified by two monoclonal antibodies, 2B5 and 1F5, were mapped by solution-phase amide backbone H/D exchange (HDX) coupled with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR MS) and the results were compared to previous mapping by immunological and mutational analyses. Antibody 2B5 defines a conformational epitope, and 1F5 defines a linear epitope. Intact murine IgG antibodies were incubated with recombinant Ana o 2 (rAna o 2) to form antigen-monoclonal antibody (Ag-mAb) complexes. mAb-complexed and uncomplexed (free) rAna o 2 were then subjected to HDX. HDX instrumentation and automation were optimized to achieve high sequence coverage by protease XIII digestion. The regions protected from H/D exchange upon antibody binding overlap and thus confirm the previously identified epitope-bearing segments: the first extension of HDX monitored by mass spectrometry to a full-length antigen-antibody complex in solution.
Project description:Proteolyzed peptides provide the basis for mass-analyzed hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) for mapping solvent access to various segments of solution-phase proteins. Aspergillus saitoi protease type XIII and porcine pepsin can generate peptides of overlapping sequences and high sequence coverage. However, if disulfide bonds are present, proteolysis can be severely limited, particularly in the vicinity of the disulfide linkage(s). Disulfide bonds cannot be reduced before or during the H/D exchange reaction without affecting the protein higher-order structure. Here, we demonstrate simultaneous quench/digestion/reduction following H/D exchange, for subsequent mass analysis. Proteolysis is conducted in the presence of tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine hydrochloride (TCEP.HCl) and urea, and all other steps of the H/D exchange and analysis are maintained. This method yields dramatically increased sequence coverage and localization of solvent-exposed segments for mass-analyzed solution-phase H/D exchange of proteins containing disulfide bonds.
Project description:The local effects of hydration on myoglobin (Mb) in solid matrices containing mannitol or sucrose (1:1 w/w, protein:additive) were mapped using hydrogen-deuterium exchange with mass spectrometric analysis (HDX-MS) at 5 °C and compared to solution controls. Solid powders were exposed to D?O(g) at controlled activity (a(w)) followed by reconstitution and analysis of the intact protein and peptides produced by pepsin digestion. HDX varied with matrix type, a(w), and position along the protein backbone. HDX was less in sucrose matrices than in mannitol matrices at all a(w) while the difference in solution was negligible. Differences in HDX in the two matrices were detectable despite similarities in their bulk water content. The extent of exchange in solids is proposed as a measure of the hydration of exchangeable amide groups, as well as protein conformation and dynamics; pepsin digestion allows these effects to be mapped with peptide-level resolution.
Project description:To monitor the structural integrity of therapeutic proteins, hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) is increasingly utilized in the pharmaceutical industry. The successful outcome of HDX-MS analyses depends on the sample preparation conditions, which involve the rapid digestion of proteins at 0 °C and pH 2.5. Very few proteases are able to withstand such harsh conditions, with pepsin being the best-known exception, even though its activity is also strongly reduced at 0 °C. Here, we evaluate the usage of a prolyl endopeptidase from Aspergillus niger (An-PEP) for HDX-MS. What makes this protease very attractive is that it cleaves preferentially the hardest to digest amino acid, proline. To our surprise, and in contrast to previous reports, An-PEP activity was found optimal around pH 2.5 and could be further enhanced by urea up to 40%. Under typical HDX-MS conditions and using small amounts of enzyme, An-PEP generated an equivalent number of peptides as pepsin, as exemplified by using the two model systems tetrameric human hemoglobin (Hb) and human IgG4. Interestingly, because An-PEP peptides are shorter than pepsin-generated peptides, higher sequence resolution could be achieved, especially for Pro-containing protein regions in the alpha subunit of Hb, revealing new protected Hb regions that were not observed with pepsin. Due to its Pro-preference and resistance to low pH, we conclude that An-PEP is an archetype enzyme for HDX-MS, highly complementary to pepsin, and especially promising for structural studies on Pro-rich proteins or proteins containing Pro-rich binding domains involved in cellular signaling.
Project description:Pepsin was immobilized on ethyl-bridged hybrid (BEH) particles, and digestion performance was evaluated in a completely online format, with the specific intent of using the particles for hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX MS) experiments. Because the BEH particles are mechanically strong, they could withstand prolonged, continuous high-pressure at 10,000 psi. Online digestion was performed under isobaric conditions with continuous solvent flow, in contrast to other approaches where the pressure or flow is cycled. As expected, digestion efficiency at 10,000 psi was increased and reproducibly produced more peptic peptides versus digestion at 1000 psi. Prototype columns made with the BEH pepsin particles exhibited robust performance, and deuterium back-exchange was similar to that of other immobilized pepsin particles. These particles can be easily incorporated in existing HDX MS workflows to provide more peptide coverage in experiments where fast, efficient, and reproducible online pepsin digestion is desired.
Project description:The goal of next-level bottom-up membrane proteomics is protein function investigation, via high-coverage high-throughput peptide-centric quantitation of expression, modifications and dynamic structures at systems scale. Yet efficient digestion of mammalian membrane proteins presents a daunting barrier, and prevalent day-long urea-trypsin in-solution digestion proved insufficient to reach this goal. Many efforts contributed incremental advances over past years, but involved protein denaturation that disconnected measurement from functional states. Beyond denaturation, the recent discovery of structure/proteomics omni-compatible detergent n-dodecyl-?-d-maltopyranoside, combined with pepsin and PNGase F columns, enabled breakthroughs in membrane protein digestion: a 2010 DDM-low-TCEP (DLT) method for H/D-exchange (HDX) using human G protein-coupled receptor, and a 2015 flow/detergent-facilitated protease and de-PTM digestions (FDD) for integrative deep sequencing and quantitation using full-length human ion channel complex. Distinguishing protein solubilization from denaturation, protease digestion reliability from theoretical specificity, and reduction from alkylation, these methods shifted day(s)-long paradigms into minutes, and afforded fully automatable (HDX)-protein-peptide-(tandem mass tag)-HPLC pipelines to instantly measure functional proteins at deep coverage, high peptide reproducibility, low artifacts and minimal leakage. Promoting-not destroying-structures and activities harnessed membrane proteins for the next-level streamlined functional proteomics. This review analyzes recent advances in membrane protein digestion methods and highlights critical discoveries for future proteomics.
Project description:Studies of protein dynamics, structure and interactions using hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) have sharply increased over the past 5-10 years. The predominant technology requires fast digestion at pH 2-3 to retain deuterium label. Pepsin is used almost exclusively, but it provides relatively low efficiency under the constraints of the experiment, and a selectivity profile that renders poor coverage of intrinsically disordered regions. In this study we present nepenthesin-containing secretions of the pitcher plant Nepenthes, commonly called monkey cups, for use in HDX-MS. We show that nepenthesin is at least 1400-fold more efficient than pepsin under HDX-competent conditions, with a selectivity profile that mimics pepsin in part, but also includes efficient cleavage C-terminal to "forbidden" residues K, R, H, and P. High efficiency permits a solution-based analysis with no detectable autolysis, avoiding the complication of immobilized enzyme reactors. Relaxed selectivity promotes high coverage of disordered regions and the ability to "tune" the mass map for regions of interest. Nepenthesin-enriched secretions were applied to an analysis of protein complexes in the nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair pathway. The analysis of XRCC4 binding to the BRCT domains of Ligase IV points to secondary interactions between the disordered C-terminal tail of XRCC4 and remote regions of the BRCT domains, which could only be identified with a nepenthesin-based workflow. HDX data suggest that stalk-binding to XRCC4 primes a BRCT conformation in these remote regions to support tail interaction, an event which may be phosphoregulated. We conclude that nepenthesin is an effective alternative to pepsin for all HDX-MS applications, and especially for the analysis of structural transitions among intrinsically disordered proteins and their binding partners.
Project description:Inadequate spatial resolution remains one of the most serious limitations of hydrogen/deuterium exchange-mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), especially when applied to larger proteins (over 30 kDa). Supplementing proteolytic fragmentation of the protein in solution with ion dissociation in the gas phase has been used successfully by several groups to obtain near-residue level resolution. However, the restrictions imposed by the LC-MS/MS mode of operation on the data acquisition time frame makes it difficult in many cases to obtain a signal-to-noise ratio adequate for reliable assignment of the backbone amide protection levels at individual residues. This restriction is lifted in the present work by eliminating the LC separation step from the workflow and taking advantage of the high resolving power and dynamic range of a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometer (FTICR-MS). A residue-level resolution is demonstrated for a peptic fragment of a 37 kDa recombinant protein (N-lobe of human serum transferrin), using electron-capture dissociation as an ion fragmentation tool. The absence of hydrogen scrambling in the gas phase prior to ion dissociation is verified using redundant HDX-MS data generated by FTICR-MS. The backbone protection pattern generated by direct HDX-MS/MS is in excellent agreement with the known crystal structure of the protein but also provides information on conformational dynamics, which is not available from the static X-ray structure.
Project description:Hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) is a well established method for the measurement of solution-phase deuterium incorporation into proteins, which can provide insight into protein conformational mobility. However, most HDX measurements are constrained to regions of the protein where pepsin proteolysis allows detection at peptide resolution. Recently, single-amide resolution deuterium incorporation has been achieved by limiting gas-phase scrambling in the mass spectrometer. This was accomplished by employing a combination of soft ionization and desolvation conditions coupled with the radical-driven fragmentation technique electron transfer dissociation (ETD). Here, a hybrid LTQ-Orbitrap XL is systematically evaluated for its utility in providing single-amide deuterium incorporation for differential HDX analysis of a nuclear receptor upon binding small molecule ligands. We are able to show that instrumental parameters can be optimized to minimize scrambling and can be incorporated into an established and fully automated HDX platform making differential single-amide HDX possible for bottom-up analysis of complex systems. We have applied this system to determine differential single amide resolution HDX data for the peroxizome proliferator activated receptor bound with two ligands of interest.