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Laser-free Hydroxyl Radical Protein Footprinting to Perform Higher Order Structural Analysis of Proteins

Scot R. Weinberger1, Emily E. Chea1, Joshua S. Sharp1,2,3, Sandeep K. Misra2


Hydroxyl Radical Protein Footprinting (HRPF) is an emerging and promising higher order structural analysis technique that provides information on changes in protein structure, protein-protein interactions, or protein-ligand interactions. HRPF utilizes hydroxyl radicals (OH) to irreversibly label a protein’s solvent accessible surface. The inherent complexity, cost, and hazardous nature of performing HRPF have substantially limited broad-based adoption in biopharma. These factors include: 1) the use of complicated, dangerous, and expensive lasers that demand substantial safety precautions; and 2) the irreproducibility of HRPF caused by background scavenging of OH that limit comparative studies. This publication provides a protocol for operation of a laser-free HRPF system. This laser-free HRPF system utilizes a high energy, high-pressure plasma light source flash oxidation technology with in-line radical dosimetry. The plasma light source is safer, easier to use, and more efficient in generating hydroxyl radicals than laser-based HRPF systems, and the in-line radical dosimeter increases the reproducibility of studies. Combined, the laser-free HRPF system addresses and surmounts the mentioned shortcomings and limitations of laser-based techniques.

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