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Anal Chem. 2001 Oct 1;73(19):4647-61.

Thermal decomposition of a gaseous multiprotein complex studied by blackbody infrared radiative dissociation. Investigating the origin of the asymmetric dissociation behavior.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


The blackbody infrared radiative dissociation technique was used to study the thermal decomposition of the gaseous B5 pentamer of the Shiga-like toxin I and its complexes with the Pk trisaccharide and a decavalent Pk-based oligosaccharide ligand (STARFISH, S). Dissociation of the protonated pentamer, (B5 + nH)n+ triple bond B5n+ where n = 11-14, proceeds almost exclusively by the loss of a single subunit (B) with a disproportionately large fraction (30-50%) of the parent ion charge. The degree of charge enrichment of the leaving subunit increases with increasing parent ion charge state. For n = 12-14, a distribution of product ion charge states is observed. The yields of the complementary pairs of product ions are sensitive to the reaction temperature, with higher temperatures favoring greater charge enrichment of the leaving subunit for +13 and +14, and the opposite effect for +12. These results indicate that some of the protons are rapidly exchanged between subunits in the gas phase. Dissociation of B5(14+) x S proceeds exclusively by the loss of one subunit, although the ligand increases the stability of the complex and also reduces the degree of charge enrichment in the ejected monomer. For B5(12+)(Pk)1-3, the loss of neutral Pk competes with loss of a subunit at low temperatures. Linear Arrhenius plots were obtained from the temperature-dependent dissociation rate constants measured for the loss of B from B5n+ and B514+ x S. The magnitude of the Arrhenius parameters is highly dependent on the charge state of the pentamer: Ea = 35 kcal/mol and A = 1,019 s(-1) (+14), 46 kcal/mol and 1,023 S(-1) (+13), 50 kcal/mol and 1026 s(-1) (+12), and 80 kcal/mol and 10(39) (+11). The Ea and A for B5(14+) x S are 59 kcal/mol and 10(30) s(-1), respectively. The reaction pathways leading to greater charge enrichment of the subunit lost from the B5(14+) and B5(13+) ions correspond to higher energy processes, however, these pathways are kinetically preferred at higher temperatures due to their large A factors. A simple electrostatic model, whereby charge enrichment leads to Coulombic repulsion-induced denaturation of the subunits and disruption of the intersubunit interactions, provides an explanation for the magnitude of the Arrhenius parameters and the origin of the asymmetric dissociation behavior of the complexes.

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