UNIT 17.12 Native Mass Spectrometry as a Tool in Structural Biology

  1. Kristina Lorenzen,
  2. Esther van Duijn

Published Online: 1 NOV 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471140864.ps1712s62

Current Protocols in Protein Science

Current Protocols in Protein Science

How to Cite

Lorenzen, K. and Duijn, E. v. 2010. Native Mass Spectrometry as a Tool in Structural Biology. Current Protocols in Protein Science. 62:17.12:17.12.1–17.12.17.

Author Information

  1. Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2010
  2. Published Print: NOV 2010


Native mass spectrometry (native MS) gives information about the composition, topological arrangements, dynamics, and structural properties of protein complexes. The mass range is principally unlimited and highly dynamic, allowing the detection of small subunits and large complexes within the same measurement. The amount of protein needed for an analysis is, compared to most other structural biology methods, very low. This unit provides an introduction to native MS. It starts with an explanation of the basic method and details on how to measure intact proteins and protein complexes, and continues with the study of dynamics and complex stability in the gas phase. The final section discusses the most recent extension to the native MS field, ion mobility, which allows the direct assessment of the structural properties of the complexes of interest. Curr. Protoc. Protein Sci. 62:17.12.1-17.12.17. © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • native mass spectrometry;
  • protein complex topology;
  • structural biology;
  • ion mobility–mass spectrometry;
  • tandem mass spectrometry;
  • sample preparation and conditions;
  • protein ion charge states