Lin, Hsien-Jung L., et al. “Quantifying In Situ Structural Stabilities of Human Blood Plasma Proteins Using a Novel Iodination Protein Stability Assay.” Journal of Proteome Research 21.12 (2022): 2920-2935. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.2c00323
Many of the diseases that plague society today are driven by a loss of protein quality. One method to quantify protein quality is to measure the protein folding stability (PFS). Here, we present a novel mass spectrometry (MS)-based approach for PFS measurement, iodination protein stability assay (IPSA). IPSA quantifies the PFS by tracking the surface-accessibility differences of tyrosine, histidine, methionine, and cysteine under denaturing conditions. Relative to current methods, IPSA increases protein coverage and granularity to track the PFS changes of a protein along its sequence. To our knowledge, this study is the first time the PFS of human serum proteins has been measured in the context of the blood serum (in situ). We show that IPSA can quantify the PFS differences between different transferrin iron-binding states in near in vivo conditions. We also show that the direction of the denaturation curve reflects the in vivo surface accessibility of the amino acid residue and reproducibly reports a residue-specific PFS. Along with IPSA, we introduce an analysis tool Chalf that provides a simple workflow to calculate the residue-specific PFS. The introduction of IPSA increases the potential to use protein structural stability as a structural quality metric in understanding the etiology and progression of human disease. Data is openly available at Chorusproject.org (project ID 1771).