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Title: Ultrahigh-Resolution Differential Ion Mobility Separations of Conformers for Proteins above 10 kDa: Onset of Dipole Alignment?

Biomacromolecules tend to assume numerous structures in solution or the gas phase. It has been possible to resolve disparate conformational families but not unique geometries within each, and drastic peak broadening has been the bane of protein analyses by chromatography, electrophoresis, and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The new differential IMS (FAIMS) approach using hydrogen-rich gases was recently found to separate conformers of a small protein ubiquitin with same peak width and resolving power up to ~400 as for peptides. Present work explores the reach of this approach for larger proteins, exemplified by cytochrome c and myoglobin. Resolution similar to that for ubiquitin was largely achieved with longer separations, while the onset of peak broadening and coalescence with shorter separations suggests the limitation of present technique to proteins under ~20 kDa. This capability may enable distinguishing whole proteins with differing residue sequences or localizations of posttranslational modifications. Small features at negative compensation voltages that markedly grow from cytochrome c to myoglobin indicate the dipole alignment of rare conformers in accord with theory, further supporting the concept of pendular macroions in FAIMS.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Analytical Chemistry, 86(21):10608-10615
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory