Top-"Double-Down" Mass Spectrometry of Histone H4 Proteoforms: Tandem Ultraviolet-Photon and Mobility/Mass-Selected Electron Capture Dissociations

Kevin Jeanne Dit Fouque, Samuel A. Miller, Khoa Pham, Natarajan V. Bhanu, Yarixa L. Cintron-Diaz, Dennys Leyva, Desmond Kaplan, Valery G. Voinov, Mark E. Ridgeway, Melvin A. Park, Benjamin A. Garcia, Francisco Fernandez-Lima

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Post-translational modifications (PTMs) on intact histones play a major role in regulating chromatin dynamics and influence biological processes such as DNA transcription, replication, and repair. The nature and position of each histone PTM is crucial to decipher how this information is translated into biological response. In the present work, the potential of a novel tandem top-"double-down" approach─ultraviolet photodissociation followed by mobility and mass-selected electron capture dissociation and mass spectrometry (UVPD-TIMS-q-ECD-ToF MS/MS)─is illustrated for the characterization of HeLa derived intact histone H4 proteoforms. The comparison between q-ECD-ToF MS/MS spectra and traditional Fourier-transform-ion cyclotron resonance-ECD MS/MS spectra of a H4 standard showed a similar sequence coverage (∼75%) with significant faster data acquisition in the ToF MS/MS platform (∼3 vs ∼15 min). Multiple mass shifts (e.g., 14 and 42 Da) were observed for the HeLa derived H4 proteoforms for which the top-down UVPD and ECD fragmentation analysis were consistent in detecting the presence of acetylated PTMs at the N-terminus and Lys5, Lys8, Lys12, and Lys16 residues, as well as methylated, dimethylated, and trimethylated PTMs at the Lys20 residue with a high sequence coverage (∼90%). The presented top-down results are in good agreement with bottom-up TIMS ToF MS/MS experiments and allowed for additional description of PTMs at the N-terminus. The integration of a 213 nm UV laser in the present platform allowed for UVPD events prior to the ion mobility-mass precursor separation for collision-induced dissociation (CID)/ECD-ToF MS. Selected c305+UVPD fragments, from different H4 proteoforms (e.g., Ac + Me2, 2Ac + Me2and 3Ac + Me2), exhibited multiple IMS bands for which similar CID/ECD fragmentation patterns per IMS band pointed toward the presence of conformers, adopting the same PTM distribution, with a clear assignment of the PTM localization for each of the c305+UVPD fragment H4 proteoforms. These results were consistent with the biological "zip" model, where acetylation proceeds in the Lys16 to Lys5 direction. This novel platform further enhances the structural toolbox with alternative fragmentation mechanisms (UVPD, CID, and ECD) in tandem with fast, high-resolution mobility separations and shows great promise for global proteoform analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15377-15385
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 8 2022


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