Use of a microchip device coupled with mass spectrometry for ligand screening of a multi-protein target.
Keetch CA., Hernánndez H., Sterling A., Baumert M., Allen MH., Robinson CV.
Nanoflow electrospray mass spectrometry has been applied previously to investigate noncovalent protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. Here we evaluate a commercial microchip device for this application. We show that the microchip can be used to obtain mass spectra of the noncovalent tetramer transthyretin. The device showed a 10-fold increase in signal stability compared with a nanoflow capillary and a high level of nozzle-to-nozzle reproducibility. Binding of the natural ligand thyroxine was clearly observed, and a range of small molecules proposed as inhibitors of transthyretin amyloidosis were shown to be effective in stabilizing the tetramer. We propose that measuring the ability of small molecules to stabilize protein complexes using this automated microchip technology will enable high-throughput screening of multi-protein complexes by mass spectrometry.