PubMed 22161509

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv10.1

Title: Supercharging Protein Complexes from Aqueous Solution Disrupts their Native Conformations.

Authors: Harry J Sterling, Alexander F Kintzer, Geoffrey K Feld, Catherine A Cassou, Bryan A Krantz, Evan R Williams

Journal, date & volume: , 2011 Dec 13 , ,

PubMed link:

The effects of aqueous solution supercharging on the solution- and gas-phase structures of two protein complexes were investigated using traveling-wave ion mobility-mass spectrometry (TWIMS-MS). Low initial concentrations of m-nitrobenzyl alcohol (m-NBA) in the electrospray ionization (ESI) solution can effectively increase the charge of concanavalin A dimers and tetramers, but at higher m-NBA concentrations, the increases in charge are accompanied by solution-phase dissociation of the dimers and up to a ~22% increase in the collision cross section (CCS) of the tetramers. With just 0.8% m-NBA added to the ESI solution of a ~630 kDa anthrax toxin octamer complex, the average charge is increased by only ~4% compared with the "native" complex, but it is sufficiently destabilized so that extensive gas-phase fragmentation occurs in the relatively high pressure regions of the TWIMS device. Anthrax toxin complexes exist in either a prechannel or a transmembrane channel state. With m-NBA, the prechannel state of the complex has the same CCS/charge ratio in the gas phase as the transmembrane channel state of the same complex formed without m-NBA, yet undergoes extensive dissociation, indicating that destabilization from supercharging occurs in the ESI droplet prior to ion formation and is not a result of Coulombic destabilization in the gas phase as a result of higher charging. These results demonstrate that the supercharging of large protein complexes is the result of conformational changes induced by the reagents in the ESI droplets, where enrichment of the supercharging reagent during droplet evaporation occurs.