Collision cross-section (CCS) measurements obtained from ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) analyses often provide useful information concerning a protein’s size and shape and can be complemented by modeling procedures. However, there have been some concerns about the extent to which certain proteins maintain a native-like conformation during the gas-phase analysis, especially proteins with dynamic or extended regions. Here we have measured the CCSs of a range of biomolecules including non-globular proteins and RNAs of different sequence, size, and stability. Using traveling wave IMS-MS, we show that for the proteins studied, the measured CCS deviates significantly from predicted CCS values based upon currently available structures. The results presented indicate that these proteins collapse to different extents varying on their elongated structures upon transition into the gas-phase. Comparing two RNAs of similar mass but different solution structures, we show that these biomolecules may also be susceptible to gas-phase compaction. Together, the results suggest that caution is needed when predicting structural models based on CCS data for RNAs as well as proteins with non-globular folds.
Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry – Springer Journals
Published: May 8, 2017
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