Analysis of major protein-protein and protein-metal complexes of erythrocytes directly from cell lysate utilizing capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry.Anal Chem. 2008 Sep 15; 80(18):7169-73.AC
The separation and detection of the major protein-protein and protein-metal complexes of erythrocytes directly from cell lysate under native conditions has been accomplished for the first time using capillary electrophoresis electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (CE/ESI-MS). All three major protein-protein and protein-metal complexes in human red blood cells (RBCs) with a concentration dynamic range of approximately 3 orders of magnitude were successfully detected. Intact complexes detected in lysed RBCs included carbonic anhydrase II (CAII-Zn at approximately 0.8 amol/cell) complexed with its zinc cofactor, carbonic anhydrase I (CAI-Zn at approximately 7 amol/cell) complexed with its zinc cofactor, and hemoglobin A (Hb-tetramer at approximately 450 amol/cell)a tetramer formed by two alpha-beta-subunits and four heme groups. The average molecular weights measured for these complexes were consistent with their theoretical values within 0.01% mass accuracy. The use of Polybrene as a self-coating reagent in conjunction with ammonium acetate at pH approximately 7.4, narrow capillary for high separation efficiency, and forward polarity CE to avoid acid production at the tip of the capillary were overriding experimental factors for successful analysis of protein complexes. Diluting the lysed blood sample in ammonium acetate for a minimum of 6 h before injecting the sample into the CE was essential for obtaining the mass accuracy consistent with their theoretical average molecular weights. At physiological pH, the mass spectrum of the electrophoretic peak of Hb-tetramer included a small amount of the monomers and Hb-dimer. The migration time and peak profile of these species were almost identical to that of the tetramer, indicating that they are formed from decomposition of the Hb-tetramer during the ESI process. A separate electrophoretic peak for the Hb-dimer was only detected when the pH of the BGE was lowered from 7.4 to approximately 6.6. Running CE in forward polarity mode was essential for detection of the intact Hb-tetramer as well as CAI-Zn and CAII-Zn complexes. Under forward polarity mode, CE outlet/ESI shared electrode acts as the cathode of the CE circuit and the anode (positive voltage for positive ions) of the ESI circuit, thereby maintaining approximately neutral pH at the CE outlet/ESI electrode. In addition, under forward polarity mode, CAII-Zn and CAI-Zn migrated ahead of Hb-tetramer, avoiding being masked by 562x and 64x, respectively, molar excess of Hb-tetramer.