Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

Title

On-Line Sample Clean-Up and Chromatography Coupled with Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry to Characterize the Primary Sequence and Disulfide Bond Content of Recombinant Calcium Binding Proteins

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-1999

Journal Title

Biomedical Chromatography

ISSN

0269-3879

Volume

13

Issue

1

First Page

37

Last Page

45

DOI

10.1002/(SICI)1099-0801(199902)13:1<37::AID-BMC810>3.0.CO;2-P

PubMed ID

10191942

Abstract

We have used on-line sample clean-up, concentration, and chromatography with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), to characterize and determine the presence of disulfide bonds in recombinant full-length rat brain calbindin D28K and two deletion mutants of the protein, one lacking EF-hand 2 (calbindin delta 2) and the other lacking EF-hands 2 and 6 (calbindin delta 2,6). The molecular weights of the expressed proteins dissolved in biological buffers were determined with high accuracy using a low-flow, pressurized chamber infusion system, that allows on-line protein clean-up by removing buffers/salts incompatible with ESI-MS. The molecular weight determinations showed that the amino-terminal methionine residues had been cleaved during the expression and isolation of the recombinant proteins. Approximately 85-90% of the protein sequences were confirmed by on-line HPLC-ESI-MS analysis of peptides generated by a lysyl endoproteinase C digestion. Comparisons of ESI-MS spectra of native and reduced calbindin D28K and delta 2 show that the full length- and delta 2 mutant-protein contain one disulfide bond. Molecular mass determinations of calbindin delta 2,6 showed that this protein contains a highly active cysteine residue that covalently binds a mercaptoethanol group, or forms a homodimer via a disulfide bond. The results show surprising differences amongst the deletion mutants of calbindin D28K with respect to the formation of disulfide bonds. These differences are not readily detected by other techniques and show that ESI-MS is a powerful, rapid method by which to detect disulfide linkages for intact proteins.

Keywords

Amino acid sequence, calbindins, chromatography, high pressure liquid, disulfides, mass spectrometry, molecular weight, rats, recombinant proteins

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