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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Apr 2;257(1):1-5.

Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: a promising new technique in the study of protein/DNA noncovalent complexes.

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.


With the emergence of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), mass spectrometry is no longer restricted to the study of small, stable molecules, but has become a viable technique to study large biomolecules as well as noncovalent biomolecular complexes. ESI-MS has been used to study noncovalent interactions involving proteins with metals, ligands, peptides, oligonucleotides, and other proteins. An area where ESI-MS holds significant promise is in the study of protein/DNA interactions. The most common technique employed to study protein/DNA interactions is the electrophoretic gel mobility shift assay (EMSA). Although this technique has and will continue to provide excellent results, ESI-MS has shown the ability to provide detailed results not easily obtainable by EMSA. In this review I will discuss some of the protein/DNA noncovalent interactions that have been measured using ESI-MS, and contrast the results obtained by ESI-MS to those obtained by EMSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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