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Ratiometric Pulse–Chase Amidination Mass Spectrometry as a Probe of Biomolecular Complex Formation

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journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2011, 00:00 by Feng-Ming James Chang, Matthew A. Lauber, William E. Running, James P. Reilly, David P. Giedroc
Selective chemical modification of protein side chains coupled with mass spectrometry is often most informative when used to compare residue-specific reactivities in a number of functional states or macromolecular complexes. Herein, we develop ratiometric pulse–chase amidination mass spectrometry (rPAm-MS) as a site-specific probe of lysine reactivities at equilibrium using the Cu(I)-sensing repressor CsoR from Bacillus subtilis as a model system. CsoR in various allosteric states was reacted with S-methyl thioacetimidate (SMTA) for pulse time, t, and chased with excess of S-methyl thiopropionimidate (SMTP) (Δ = 14 amu), quenched and digested with chymotrypsin or Glu-C protease, and peptides were quantified by high-resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and/or liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC–ESI-MS/MS). We show that the reactivities of individual lysines from peptides containing up to three Lys residues are readily quantified using this method. New insights into operator DNA binding and the Cu(I)-mediated structural transition in the tetrameric copper sensor CsoR are also obtained.