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Keywords:

  • electrospray ionization;
  • ion mobility;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • proteomics;
  • structural biology
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Positively a gas: Protein structure determination using mass spectrometry can be assisted by the addition of stabilizing cations to the gas-phase molecule. Densely charged cations (see scheme, green) are found to stabilize protein tertiary structure for accurate mass determination of homo- or heterogeneous protein complexes. The cations remain tightly bound to the protein throughout the analysis, allowing the protein to remain in a folded state.