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Noncovalent protein tetramers and pentamers with "n" charges yield monomers with n/4 and n/5 charges.


ABSTRACT: In recent years mass spectrometry based techniques have emerged as structural biology tools for the characterization of macromolecular, noncovalent assemblies. Many of these efforts involve preservation of intact protein complexes within the mass spectrometer, providing molecular weight measurements that allow the determination of subunit stoichiometry and real-time monitoring of protein interactions. Attempts have been made to further elucidate subunit architecture through the dissociation of subunits from the intact complex by colliding it into inert gas atoms such as argon or xenon. Unfortunately, the amount of structural information that can be derived from such strategies is limited by the nearly ubiquitous ejection of a single, unfolded subunit. Here, we present results from the gas-phase dissociation of protein-protein complexes upon collision into a surface. Dissociation of a series of tetrameric and pentameric proteins demonstrate that alternative subunit fragments, not observed through multiple collisions with gas atoms, can be generated through surface collision. Evidence is presented for the retention of individual subunit structure, and in some cases, retention of noncovalent interactions between subunits and ligands. We attribute these differences to the rapid large energy input of ion-surface collisions, which leads to the dissociation of subunits prior to the unfolding of individual monomers.

SUBMITTER: Beardsley RL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3477242 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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