A free-radical footprinting approach is described for integral membrane protein (IMP) that extends, significantly, the “fast photochemical oxidation of proteins” (FPOP) platform. This new approach exploits highly hydrophobic perfluoroisopropyl iodide (PFIPI) together with tip sonication to ensure efficient transport into the micelle interior, allowing laser dissociation and footprinting of the transmembrane domains. In contrast to water soluble footprinters, PFIPI footprints both the hydrophobic intramembrane and the hydrophilic extramembrane domains of the IMP vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKOR). The footprinting is fast, giving high coverage for Tyr (100 %) and Trp. The incorporation of the reagent with sonication does not significantly affect VKOR's enzymatic function, and tyrosine iodination does not compromise protease digestion and the subsequent analysis. The locations for the modifications are largely consistent with the corresponding solvent accessibilities, recommending this approach for future membrane protein footprinting.
- fast photochemical oxidation of proteins
- iodine radicals
- membrane proteins
- protein footprinting