Specific protein–metal interactions (PMIs) fulfill essential functions in cells and organic bodies, and activation of these functions in vivo are mostly modulated by the complex environmental factors, including pH value, small biomolecules, and salts. Specifically, the role of salts in promoting specific PMIs and their competition among various metals has remained untapped mainly due to the difficulty to distinguish nonspecific PMIs from specific PMIs by classic spectroscopic techniques. Herein, we report Hofmeister salts differentially promote the specific PMIs by combining nanoelectrospray ionization mass spectrometry and spectroscopic techniques (fluorescence measurement and circular dichroism). Furthermore, to explore the influence of salts in competitive binding between metalloproteins and various metals, we designed a series of competitive experiments and applied to a well-defined model system, the competitive binding of zinc (II) and arsenic (III) to holo-promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML). These experiments not only provided new insights at the molecular scale as complementary to previous NMR and spectroscopic results, but also deduced the relative binding ability between zinc finger proteins and metals at the molecular scale, which avoids the mass spectrometric titration-based determination of binding constants that is frequently affected and often degraded by variable solution conditions including salt contents.
Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 8, 2017
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