Indexed on: 03 Aug '16Published on: 03 Aug '16Published in: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Protein-protein interfaces and architecture are critical to the function of multiprotein complexes. Mass spectrometry-based techniques have emerged as powerful strategies for characterization of protein complexes, particularly for heterogeneous mixtures of structures. In the present study, activation and dissociation of three tetrameric protein complexes (streptavidin, transthyretin, and hemoglobin) in the gas phase was undertaken by 193 nm ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) for the characterization of higher order structure. High pulse energy UVPD resulted in the production of dimers and low charged monomers exhibiting symmetrical charge partitioning among the sub-units (the so-called symmetrical dissociation pathways), consistent with the subunit organization of the complexes. In addition, UVPD promoted backbone cleavages of the monomeric subunits, the abundances of which corresponded to the more flexible loop regions of the proteins.