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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2010 Oct;21(10):1643-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jasms.2010.06.011. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

On-line bioaffinity-electrospray mass spectrometry for simultaneous detection, identification, and quantification of protein-ligand interactions.

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Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Biopolymer Structure Analysis, Department of Chemistry, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.


We describe here an on-line combination of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) biosensor with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (SAW-ESI-MS) that enables the direct detection, identification, and quantification of affinity-bound ligands from a protein-ligand complex on a biosensor chip. A trapping column was used between the SAW-biosensor and the electrospray mass spectrometer equipped with a micro-guard column, which provides simultaneous sample concentration and desalting for the mass spectrometric analysis of the dissociated ligand. First applications of the on-line SAW-ESI-MS combination include (1), differentiation of β-amyloid (Aβ) epitope peptides bound to anti-Aβ antibodies; (2), the identification of immobilized Substance P peptide-calmodulin complex; (3), identification and quantification of the interaction of 3-nitrotyrosine-modified peptides with nitrotyrosine-specific antibodies; and (4), identification of immobilized anti-α-synuclein-human α-synuclein complex. Quantitative determinations of protein-ligand complexes by SAW yielded dissociation constants (K(D)) from micro-to low nanomolar sample concentrations. The on-line bioaffinity-ESI-MS combination presented here is expected to enable broad bioanalytical application to the simultaneous, label-free determination and quantification of biopolymer-ligand interactions, as diverse as antigen-antibody and lectin-carbohydrate complexes.

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