Chemical Crosslinking Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Protein Conformations and Supercomplexes in Heart Tissue

Juan D. Chavez, Chi Fung Lee, Arianne Caudal, Andrew Keller, Rong Tian, James E. Bruce.

Cell Systems. Available online 29 November 2017.


While modern structural biology technologies have greatly expanded the size and type of protein complexes that can now be studied, the ability to derive large-scale structural information on proteins and complexes as they exist within tissues is practically nonexistent. Here, we demonstrate the application of crosslinking mass spectrometry to identify protein structural features and interactions in tissue samples, providing systems structural biology insight into protein complexes as they exist in the mouse heart. This includes insights into multiple conformational states of sarcomere proteins, as well as interactions among OXPHOS complexes indicative of supercomplex assembly. The extension of crosslinking mass spectrometry analysis into the realm of tissues opens the door to increasing our understanding of protein structures and interactions within the context of the greater biological system.