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J Proteomics. 2020 Apr 30;218:103721. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2020.103721. Epub 2020 Feb 25.

A protocol for studying structural dynamics of proteins by quantitative crosslinking mass spectrometry and data-independent acquisition.

Author information

1
Bioanalytics, Institute of Biotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin, 13355 Berlin, Germany.
2
Bioanalytics, Institute of Biotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin, 13355 Berlin, Germany; Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3BF, Scotland, United Kingdom. Electronic address: juri.rappsilber@tu-berlin.de.

Abstract

Quantitative crosslinking mass spectrometry (QCLMS) reveals structural details of protein conformations in solution. QCLMS can benefit from data-independent acquisition (DIA), which maximises accuracy, reproducibility and throughput of the approach. This DIA-QCLMS protocol comprises of three main sections: sample preparation, spectral library generation and quantitation. The DIA-QCLMS workflow supports isotope-labelling as well as label-free quantitation strategies, uses xiSEARCH for crosslink identification, and xiDIA-Library to create a spectral library for a peptide-centric quantitative approach. We integrated Spectronaut, a leading quantitation software, to analyse DIA data. Spectronaut supports DIA-QCLMS data to quantify crosslinks. It can be used to reveal the structural dynamics of proteins and protein complexes, even against a complex background. In combination with photoactivatable crosslinkers (photo-DIA-QCLMS), the workflow can increase data density and better capture protein dynamics due to short reaction times. Additionally, this can reveal conformational changes caused by environmental influences that would otherwise affect crosslinking itself, such as changing pH conditions. SIGNIFICANCE: This protocol is an detailed step-by-step description on how to implement our previously published DIA-QCLMS workflow (Müller et al. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Apr;18(4):786-795). It includes sample preparation for QCLMS, Optimization of DIA strategies, implementation of the Spectronaut software and required python scripts and guideline on how to analyse quantitative crosslinking data. The DIA-QCLMS workflow widen the scope for a range of new crosslinking applications and this step-by-step protocol enhances the accessibility to a broad scientific user base.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare no financial interest.

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