Fast Photochemical Oxidation of Protein Footprints Faster than Protein Unfolding
Fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) is a chemical footprinting method whereby exposed amino-acid residues. are covalently labeled by oxidation with hydroxyl radicals produced by the photolysis of hydrogen peroxide. Modified residues can be detected by standard trypsin proteolysis followed by LC/MS/MS, providing information about solvent accessibility at the peptide and even the amino-acid level. like other chemical footprinting techniques, FPOP must ensure only the native conformation is labeled, Although oxidation via hydroxyl radical induces unfolding in proteins on a time scale of milliseconds or longer, FPOP is designed to limit (center dot)OH exposure to 1 mu s or less by employing a pulsed laser for initiation to produce the radicals and a radical-scavenger to limit their lifetimes. We applied FPOP to three oxidation-sensitive proteins and found that the distribution of modification (oxidation) states is Poisson when a scavenger is present, consistent with a single conformation protein modification model. This model breaks down when a scavenger is not used and/or hydrogen peroxide is not removed following photolysis. The outcome verifies that FPOP occurs on a time scale faster than conformational changes in these proteins.