An electrospray ionisation (ESI) mass spectrometric method for the determination of the free energy (AG) of unfolding of proteins is described. The method was tested using three blue copper proteins: wild type azurin, Cys-3Ala/Cys-26Ala (C3A/C26A) azurin mutant and wild-type amicyanin. The time course of the denaturation process of the proteins dissolved in methanol/water (50:50, v/v, pH 3.5) was followed by recording ESI mass spectra at time intervals. The spectra showed two series of peaks, corresponding to the native holo-protein and the unfolded apo-protein. From the intensity ratio of these two series of peaks at increasing time and at equilibrium, the free energy for the unfolding process for the three proteins could be determined. To evaluate the reliability of the thermodynamic data obtained by the ESI mass spectrometric approach, the denaturation process was followed by UV-VIS spectroscopy. The two sets of data obtained by these independent methods were in good agreement indicating that the ESI-MS approach can be used to obtain reliable quantitative information about the protein unfolding process. In principle, this approach can be applied to other proteins and requires very low amounts of sample, due to the intrinsic sensitivity of mass spectrometry. This may prove particularly useful when the amount of sample available prevents the use of current methods.
|Titolo:||Free energy for blue copper protein unfolding determined by electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|