Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Simulation of energy-resolved mass spectrometry distributions from surface-induced dissociation



Understanding the relationship between protein structure and experimental data is crucial for utilizing experiments to solve biochemical problems and optimizing the use of sparse experimental data for structural interpretation. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) can be used with a variety of methods to collect structural data for proteins. One example is surface-induced dissociation (SID), which is used to break apart protein complexes (via a surface collision) into intact subcomplexes and can be performed at multiple laboratory frame SID collision energies. These energy-resolved tandem MS/MS experiments have shown that the profile of the breakages depends on the acceleration energy of the collision. It is possible to extract an appearance energy (AE) from energy-resolved mass spectrometry (ERMS) data, which shows the relative intensity of each type of subcomplex as a function of SID acceleration energy. We previously determined that these AE values for specific interfaces correlated with structural features related to interface strength. In this study, we further examined the structural relationships by developing a method to predict the full ERMS plot from structure, rather than extracting a single value. First, we noted that for proteins with multiple interface types, we could reproduce the correct shapes of breakdown curves, further confirming previous structural hypotheses. Next, we demonstrated that interface size and energy density (measured using Rosetta) correlated with data derived from the ERMS plot (R^2 = 0.71). Furthermore, based on this trend, we used native crystal structures to predict ERMS. The majority of predictions resulted in good agreement, and the average root-mean-square error (RMSE) was 0.20 for the 20 complexes in our dataset. We also show that if additional information on cleavage as a function of collision energy could be obtained, the accuracy of predictions improved further. Finally, we demonstrated that ERMS prediction results were better for the native than for inaccurate models in 17/20 cases. An application to run this simulation has been developed in Rosetta, which is freely available for use.


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Supplementary material

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Supplementary materials for Simulation of energy-resolved mass spectrometry distributions from surface-induced dissociation
This file contains supplementary figures and tables. It also includes a tutorial to run the SID ERMS prediction application in Rosetta.