Top-down characterization of endogenous protein complexes with native proteomics

Owen S. Skinner, Nicole A. Haverland, Luca Fornelli, Rafael D. Melani, Luis H.F. Do Vale, Henrique S. Seckler, Peter F. Doubleday, Luis F. Schachner, Kristina Srzentić, Neil L. Kelleher*, Philip D. Compton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Protein complexes exhibit great diversity in protein membership, post-translational modifications and noncovalent cofactors, enabling them to function as the actuators of many important biological processes. The exposition of these molecular features using current methods lacks either throughput or molecular specificity, ultimately limiting the use of protein complexes as direct analytical targets in a wide range of applications. Here, we apply native proteomics, enabled by a multistage tandem MS approach, to characterize 125 intact endogenous complexes and 217 distinct proteoforms derived from mouse heart and human cancer cell lines in discovery mode. The native conditions preserved soluble protein-protein interactions, high-stoichiometry noncovalent cofactors, covalent modifications to cysteines, and, remarkably, superoxide ligands bound to the metal cofactor of superoxide dismutase 2. These data enable precise compositional analysis of protein complexes as they exist in the cell and demonstrate a new approach that uses MS as a bridge to structural biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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