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PrSM-Level Side-by-Side Comparison of Online LC-MS Methods with Intact Histone H3 and H4 Proteoforms

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posted on 30.07.2021, 10:37 by Kin-Wing Lui, Sai-Ming Ngai
The heterogeneity of histone H3 proteoforms makes histone H3 top-down analysis challenging. To enhance the detection coverage of the proteoforms, performing liquid chromatography (LC) front-end to mass spectrometry (MS) detection is recommended. Here, using optimized electron-transfer/high-energy collision dissociation (EThcD) parameters, we have conducted a proteoform-spectrum match (PrSM)-level side-by-side comparison of reversed-phase LC-MS (RPLC-MS), “dual-gradient” weak cation-exchange/hydrophilic interaction LC-MS (dual-gradient WCX/HILIC-MS), and “organic-rich” WCX/HILIC-MS on the top-down analyses of H3.1, H3.2, and H4 proteins extracted from a HeLa cell culture. While both dual-gradient WCX/HILIC and organic-rich WCX/HILIC could resolve intact H3 and H4 proteoforms by the number of acetylations, the organic-rich method could enhance the separations of different trimethyl/acetyl near-isobaric H3 proteoforms. In comparison with RPLC-MS, both of the WCX/HILIC-MS methods enhanced the qualities of the H3 PrSMs and remarkably improved the range, reproducibility, and confidence in the identifications of H3 proteoforms.