Crosslinking combined with mass spectrometry for structural proteomics



The method of crosslinking combined with mass spectrometry is being gradually accepted as a technology enabling detailed structural information on proteins and protein complexes. Intrinsic challenges of the method, which have prevented its widespread use, are being progressively addressed by improvements in mass spectrometry instrumentation capabilities, by the development of new crosslinking reagents, and by the development of specialized software tools for processing of mass spectrometric crosslinking data. This review focuses on recent literature concerning the development of specialized crosslinking reagents and approaches for mass spectrometry-based applications. Critical features of crosslinking reagents for optimum mass spectrometric performance, such as isotopic coding, cleavability, affinity groups, structure of the linkers, and reactive groups, are assessed. Requirements for the design of crosslinking reagents to make them well suited for mass spectrometric detection and analysis are summarized. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 29:862–876, 2010