on 05-07-201211:37 AM - edited on 10-15-202111:57 AM by Closed Account
Trnka MJ, Burlingame AL. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2010 Oct;9(10):2306-17. Many essential cellular processes depend upon the self-assembly of stable multiprotein entities. The architectures of the vast majority of these protein machines remain unknown because these structures are difficult to obtain by biophysical techniques alone. However, recent progress in defining the architecture of protein complexes has resulted from integrating information from all available biochemical and biophysical sources to generate computational models. Chemical cross-linking is a technique that holds exceptional promise toward achieving this goal by providing distance constraints that reflect the topography of protein complexes. Combined with the available structural data, these constraints can yield three-dimensional models of higher order molecular machines. However, thus far the utility of cross-linking has been thwarted by insufficient yields of cross-linked products and tandem mass spectrometry methods that are unable to unambiguously establish the identity of the covalently labeled peptides and their sites of modification. We report the cross-linking of amino moieties by 1,3-diformyl-5-ethynylbenzene (DEB) with analysis by high resolution electron transfer dissociation. This new reagent coupled with this new energy deposition technique addresses these obstacles by generating cross-linked peptides containing two additional sites of protonation relative to conventional cross-linking reagents. In addition to excellent coverage of sequence ions by electron transfer dissociation, DEB cross-linking produces gas-phase precursor ions in the 4+, 5+, or 6+ charge states that are readily segregated from unmodified and dead-end modified peptides using charge-dependent precursor selection of only quadruply and higher charge state ions. Furthermore, electron transfer induces dissociation of the DEB-peptide bonds to yield diagnostic ion signals that reveal the "molecular ions" of the unmodified peptides. We demonstrate the power of this strategy by cross-linking analysis of the 21-protein, ADP-bound GroEL-GroES chaperonin complex. Twenty-five unique sites of cross-linking were determined.