Issue 28, 2018

Self-assembly of toroidal proteins explored using native mass spectrometry


The peroxiredoxins are a well characterised family of toroidal proteins which can self-assemble into a striking array of quaternary structures, including protein nanotubes, making them attractive as building blocks for nanotechnology. Tools to characterise these assemblies are currently scarce. Here, assemblies of peroxiredoxin proteins were examined using native mass spectrometry and complementary solution techniques. We demonstrated unequivocally that tube formation is fully reversible, a useful feature in a molecular switch. Simple assembly of individual toroids was shown to be tunable by pH and the presence of a histidine tag. Collision induced dissociation experiments on peroxiredoxin rings revealed a highly unusual symmetrical disassembly pathway, consistent with the structure disassembling as a hexamer of dimers. This study provides the foundation for the rational design and precise characterisation of peroxiredoxin protein structures where self-assembly can be harnessed as a key feature for applications in nanotechnology.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of toroidal proteins explored using native mass spectrometry

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
26 Mar 2018
15 Jun 2018
First published
18 Jun 2018
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 6099-6106

Self-assembly of toroidal proteins explored using native mass spectrometry

N. A. Yewdall, Timothy M. Allison, F. G. Pearce, C. V. Robinson and J. A. Gerrard, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 6099 DOI: 10.1039/C8SC01379A

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