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Gas-Phase FRET Efficiency Measurements To Probe the Conformation of Mass-Selected Proteins


Czar, Martin F; Zosel, Franziska; König, Iwo; Nettels, Daniel; Wunderlich, Bengt; Schuler, Benjamin; Zarrine-Afsar, Arash; Jockusch, Rebecca A (2015). Gas-Phase FRET Efficiency Measurements To Probe the Conformation of Mass-Selected Proteins. Analytical Chemistry, 87(15):7559-7565.

Abstract

Electrospray ionization and mass spectrometry have revolutionized the chemical analysis of biological molecules, including proteins. However, the correspondence between a protein's native structure and its structure in the mass spectrometer (where it is gaseous) remains unclear. Here, we show that fluorescence (Förster) resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements combined with mass spectrometry provides intramolecular distance constraints in gaseous, ionized proteins. Using an experimental setup which combines trapping mass spectrometry and laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, the structure of a fluorescently labeled mutant variant of the protein GB1 was probed as a function of charge state. Steady-state fluorescence emission spectra and time-resolved donor fluorescence measurements of mass-selected GB1 show a marked decrease in the FRET efficiency with increasing number of charges on the gaseous protein, which suggests a Coulombically driven unfolding and expansion of its structure. This lies in stark contrast to the pH stability of GB1 in solution. Comparison with solution-phase single-molecule FRET measurements show lower FRET efficiency for all charge states of the gaseous protein examined, indicating that the ensemble of conformations present in the gas phase is, on average, more expanded than the native form. These results represent the first FRET measurements on a mass-selected protein and illustrate the utility of FRET for obtaining a new kind of structural information for large, desolvated biomolecules.

Abstract

Electrospray ionization and mass spectrometry have revolutionized the chemical analysis of biological molecules, including proteins. However, the correspondence between a protein's native structure and its structure in the mass spectrometer (where it is gaseous) remains unclear. Here, we show that fluorescence (Förster) resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements combined with mass spectrometry provides intramolecular distance constraints in gaseous, ionized proteins. Using an experimental setup which combines trapping mass spectrometry and laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, the structure of a fluorescently labeled mutant variant of the protein GB1 was probed as a function of charge state. Steady-state fluorescence emission spectra and time-resolved donor fluorescence measurements of mass-selected GB1 show a marked decrease in the FRET efficiency with increasing number of charges on the gaseous protein, which suggests a Coulombically driven unfolding and expansion of its structure. This lies in stark contrast to the pH stability of GB1 in solution. Comparison with solution-phase single-molecule FRET measurements show lower FRET efficiency for all charge states of the gaseous protein examined, indicating that the ensemble of conformations present in the gas phase is, on average, more expanded than the native form. These results represent the first FRET measurements on a mass-selected protein and illustrate the utility of FRET for obtaining a new kind of structural information for large, desolvated biomolecules.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:4 August 2015
Deposited On:24 Sep 2015 10:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:24
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:0003-2700
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.5b01591
PubMed ID:26110465

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