Indexed on: 12 Feb '20Published on: 11 Feb '20Published in: Analytical Chemistry
Hydroxyl radical protein footprinting (HRPF) is a powerful technique for probing changes in protein topography, based on quantifying the amount of oxidation of different regions of a protein. While quantification of HRPF oxidation at the peptide level is relatively common, quantification at the residue level is challenging due to the influence of oxidation on MS/MS fragmentation and the large number of complex and only partially chromatographically resolved isomeric peptide oxidation products. HRPF quantification of isomeric peptide oxidation products (where the peptide sequence is the same but isomeric oxidation products are formed at different sites) at the residue level by electron transfer dissociation tandem mass spectrometry (ETD MS/MS) has been demonstrated in both model peptides and HRPF products, but the method is hampered by the partial separation of oxidation isomers by reversed phase chromatography. This requires custom MS/MS methods to equally sample all isomeric oxidation products across their elution window, greatly increasing method development time and reducing the oxidation products quantified in a single LC-MS/MS run. Here we present a zwitterionic hydrophilic interaction capillary chromatography (ZIC-HILIC) method to ideally co-elute all isomeric peptide oxidation products while separating different peptides. This allows us to relatively quantify peptide oxidation isomers using an ETD MS/MS spectrum acquired at any point across the single peptide oxidation isomer peak, greatly simplifying data acquisition and data analysis at both the peptide and amino acid level.