Development of large-scale cross-linking/mass spectrometry
Barysz, Helena Maria
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3D proteomics combines chemical cross-linking with mass spectrometry to study the structure of protein assemblies and protein-protein interactions both in vitro and in vivo by providing distance constraints that indicate which residues are in close spatial proximity. I addressed the main bottleneck of this technology: the reliable identification of cross-linked peptides. Reporter ion signatures for cross-linked peptides were developed, by fragmenting model compounds containing two lysine residues joined by a cross-linker backbone or a lysine residue modified with a hydrolysed cross-linker. The reporter ion signatures showed 97% specificity at 90% sensitivity and segregated cross-linked from modified and linear peptides. They decreased the false discovery rate of the identification of cross-linked peptides from 5% to 1% in a large dataset. The signatures permit data sorting during and after mass spectrometry acquisition. The advanced 3D proteomics workflow was applied to study the protein-protein interactions in Mycoplasma pneumoniae cells. In lysates of the bacterium we identified 128 protein-protein interactions (of which 24 are novel) and obtained in vivo topological data on 208 proteins, even for cases where high-resolution structures are not yet available. We showed that our data are in excellent agreement with crystal structures of proteins and complexes where available. We defined a network of ribosomal and RNA polymerase proteins that reveals an intricate link between transcription and translation in bacteria. We demonstrated that the method is suitable for identification of homomultimeric protein complexes by exploiting peptide pairs of identical amino acid sequence. The technology has the potential to provide a complete protein interaction network map after the selective enrichment of cross-lined peptides is achieved. The method was next applied to investigate the structure of condensin and cohesin complexes, which play a crucial role in stabilization of chromosome structure during mitosis. The complexes were purified, cross-linked and their linkage map created. The condensin coiled coil cross-linked on the entire length was modeled. The information was used to direct the analysis of in situ cross-linked condensin in intact chromosomes. I found two high confidence linkages between SMC2 and SMC4 coiled coils and identified H2A as a potential condensin receptor on chromosomes.