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Issue 1, 2011
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How useful is ion mobility mass spectrometry for structural biology? The relationship between protein crystal structures and their collision cross sections in the gas phase

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Abstract

The technique of ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) has become of increasing interest for rapid analysis of the conformations adopted by biological macromolecules. It is currently used routinely for analysis of explosives and illegal substances in airport and military security. In biophysical research, it can be used to determine the temperature dependent rotationally averaged collision cross section of gas-phase ions of proteins and nucleic acids along with their mass to charge ratios. Nanoelectrospray ionisation allows the gentle transfer of intact biomolecules from solutions in which the native form(s) are present, into the solvent free environment of a mass spectrometer. It is believed by many researchers that the experimental collision cross sections of these molecules should have some relationship to crystal structure coordinates. In this review we outline the different experimental methods that can be used to measure ion mobility; we also describe methods used to calculate collision cross sections from input coordinates. Following this survey of the methodological approaches to IM-MS, we then summarise IM-MS data published to date for some monomeric peptides and small soluble proteins, along with collision cross sections calculated from their crystal structure coordinates. Finally we consider the relationship between experimental gas-phase conformations and those adopted in crystals and give an outlook on the application of IM-MS as a tool for structural biology.

Graphical abstract: How useful is ion mobility mass spectrometry for structural biology? The relationship between protein crystal structures and their collision cross sections in the gas phase

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jun 2010, accepted on 04 Aug 2010 and first published on 31 Aug 2010


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00373E
Analyst, 2011,136, 20-28

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    How useful is ion mobility mass spectrometry for structural biology? The relationship between protein crystal structures and their collision cross sections in the gas phase

    E. Jurneczko and P. E. Barran, Analyst, 2011, 136, 20
    DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00373E

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