Proteins structures under electrospray conditions
2007 (English)In: Biochemistry, ISSN 0006-2960, E-ISSN 1520-4995, Vol. 46, no 4, 933-945 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
During electrospray ionization (ESI), proteins are transferred from solution into vacuum, a process that influences the conformation of the protein. Exactly how much the conformation changes due to the dehydration process, and in what way, is difficult to determine experimentally. The aim of this study is therefore to monitor what happens to protein structures as the surrounding waters gradually evaporate, using computer simulations of the transition of proteins from water to vacuum. Five different proteins have been simulated with water shells of varying thickness, enabling us to mimic the entire dehydration process. We find that all protein structures are affected, at least to some extent, by the transfer but that the major features are preserved. A water shell with a thickness of roughly two molecules is enough to emulate bulk water and to largely maintain the solution phase structure. The conformations obtained in vacuum are quite similar and make up an ensemble which differs from the structure obtained by experimental means, and from the solution phase structure as found in simulations. Dehydration forces the protein to make more intramolecular hydrogen bonds, at the expense of exposing more hydrophobic area (to vacuum). Native hydrogen bonds usually persist in vacuum, yielding an easy route to refolding upon rehydration. The findings presented here are promising for future bio-imaging experiments with X-ray free electron lasers, and they strongly support the validity of mass spectrometry experiments for studies of intra- and intermolecular interactions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 46, no 4, 933-945 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96401DOI: 10.1021/bi061182yISI: 000243682700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96401DiVA: diva2:170965