In Vivo Hydroxyl Radical Protein Footprinting for the Study of Protein Interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

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Fast oxidation of proteins (FPOP) is a hydroxyl radical protein footprinting (HRPF) method used to study protein structure, protein-ligand interactions, and protein-protein interactions. FPOP utilizes a KrF excimer laser at 248 nm for photolysis of hydrogen peroxide to generate hydroxyl radicals which in turn oxidatively modify solvent-accessible amino acid side chains. Recently, we expanded the use of FPOP of in vivo oxidative labeling in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), entitled IV-FPOP. The transparent nematodes have been used as model systems for many human diseases. Structural studies in C. elegans by IV-FPOP is feasible because of the animal’s ability to uptake hydrogen peroxide, their transparency to laser irradiation at 248 nm, and the irreversible nature of the modification. The assembly of a microfluidic flow system for IV-FPOP labeling, IV-FPOP parameters, protein extraction, and LC-MS/MS optimized parameters are described herein.