Proteins are macromolecules that enable many biological functions. These include signalling, transportation of molecules, regulating reactions and even detecting and fighting the presence of viruses. In addition to this, many proteins don’t act alone, but form complexes with other proteins, small molecules and lipids to give rise to cellular machinery. The shape of proteins and protein complexes are directly linked to their function, to the extent that a misfolded protein can be the root cause of disease.

Ion mobility inherently measures the shape of molecules and, when combined with mass spectrometry, has become an important complimentary technique alongside NMR and X-Ray Crystallography for the study of protein structure. Comparing the size of a protein complex to predicted structures representing different folded or unfolded states helps researchers understand biology, and is an important step towards developing a therapeutic agent.

Analytical Scientist article on native protein LC-MS (2019)

Structural Analysis of Proteins

Enabling MS Technologies for Rapid Protein Structure Evaluation

Application Solutions for Structural Proteomics Note

Gas Phase Protein structure is consistent with structural measurements made by X-ray crystallography

Gas Phase Stability of Protein Ions in a Cyclic Ion Mobility Spectrometry Travelling Wave Device

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