Structural Analysis of Protein Complexes by Cross-Linking and Mass Spectrometry

  • Moriya Slavin
  • Nir Kalisman
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1764)


Cross-linking and mass spectrometry is used more and more for the structural analysis of large proteins and protein complexes. Although essentially a low-resolution method, it avoids the main drawbacks of established structural techniques. Particularly, it is largely insensitive to the inherent flexibility of the studied complexes and is applied under native conditions. It is also applicable to nearly every structural system. Therefore, cross-linking and mass spectrometry is the method of choice for elucidating the general architecture of protein complexes. Advances in instrumentation, techniques, and software now allow every lab that is working with proteins to apply the approach without much difficulty. The most specialized step in the workflow, the mass spectrometry measurement, can be done in most facilities that are performing standard proteomics. We detail here a step-by-step protocol of how to successfully apply the approach in collaboration with the mass spectrometry facility in your institution.

Key words

Structural biology Molecular machines Protein architecture 



This work was funded by Israel Science Foundation grant 1768/15.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Chemistry, The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life SciencesHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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