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Native Proteomics in Discovery Mode Using Size-Exclusion Chromatography–Capillary Zone Electrophoresis–Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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posted on 07.08.2018 by Xiaojing Shen, Qiang Kou, Ruiqiong Guo, Zhichang Yang, Daoyang Chen, Xiaowen Liu, Heedeok Hong, Liangliang Sun
Native proteomics aims to characterize complex proteomes under native conditions and ultimately produces a full picture of endogenous protein complexes in cells. It requires novel analytical platforms for high-resolution and liquid-phase separation of protein complexes prior to native mass spectrometry (MS) and MS/MS. In this work, size-exclusion chromatography (SEC)–capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE)–MS/MS was developed for native proteomics in discovery mode, resulting in the identification of 144 proteins, 672 proteoforms, and 23 protein complexes from the Escherichia coli proteome. The protein complexes include four protein homodimers, 16 protein–metal complexes, two protein–[2Fe-2S] complexes, and one protein–glutamine complex. Half of them have not been reported in the literature. This work represents the first example of online liquid-phase separation–MS/MS for the characterization of a complex proteome under the native condition, offering the proteomics community an efficient and simple platform for native proteomics.