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Developing a Targeted Quantitative Strategy for Sulfoxide-Containing MS-Cleavable Cross-Linked Peptides to Probe Conformational Dynamics of Protein Complexes

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posted on 2022-02-23, 09:04 authored by Clinton Yu, Xiaorong Wang, Lan Huang
In recent years, cross-linking mass spectrometry (XL-MS) has made enormous strides as a technology for probing protein–protein interactions (PPIs) and elucidating architectures of multisubunit assemblies. To define conformational and interaction dynamics of protein complexes under different physiological conditions, various quantitative cross-linking mass spectrometry (QXL-MS) strategies based on stable isotope labeling have been developed. These QXL-MS approaches have effectively allowed comparative analysis of cross-links to determine their relative abundance changes at global scales. Although successful, it remains challenging to consistently obtain quantitative measurements on low-abundant cross-links. Therefore, targeted QXL-MS is needed to enable MS “Western” analysis of cross-links to enhance sensitivity and reliability in quantitation. To this end, we have established a robust parallel reaction monitoring (PRM)-based targeted QXL-MS platform using sulfoxide-containing MS-cleavable cross-linker disuccinimidyl sulfoxide (DSSO), permitting label-free comparative analysis of selected cross-links across multiple samples. In addition, we have applied this methodology to study phosphorylation-dependent conformational dynamics of the human 26S proteasome. The PRM-based targeted QXL-MS analytical platform described here is applicable for all sulfoxide-containing MS-cleavable cross-linkers and can be directly adopted for comparative studies of protein–protein interactions in various cellular contexts.