Journal Highlight: The emerging role of native mass spectrometry in characterizing the structure and dynamics of macromolecular complexes

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  • Published: Aug 10, 2015
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
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thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: The emerging role of native mass spectrometry in characterizing the structure and dynamics of macromolecular complexes
The application of native mass spectrometry to the study of protein−ligand interactions and its emerging role in elucidating the structure of macromolecular assemblies, including soluble and membrane protein complexes, is reviewed.

The emerging role of native mass spectrometry in characterizing the structure and dynamics of macromolecular complexes

Protein Science, 2015, 24, 1176-1192
Elisabetta Boeri Erba and Carlo Petosa

Abstract: Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful tool for determining the mass of biomolecules with high accuracy and sensitivity. MS performed under so-called "native conditions" (native MS) can be used to determine the mass of biomolecules that associate noncovalently. Here we review the application of native MS to the study of protein−ligand interactions and its emerging role in elucidating the structure of macromolecular assemblies, including soluble and membrane protein complexes. Moreover, we discuss strategies aimed at determining the stoichiometry and topology of subunits by inducing partial dissociation of the holo-complex. We also survey recent developments in "native top-down MS", an approach based on Fourier Transform MS, whereby covalent bonds are broken without disrupting non-covalent interactions. Given recent progress, native MS is anticipated to play an increasingly important role for researchers interested in the structure of macromolecular complexes.

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