Aspects of native proteins are retained in vacuum

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2006 Oct;10(5):402-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.08.020. Epub 2006 Aug 28.


It is now well established that protein complexes can be maintained in the gas phase, under the reduced pressure conditions experienced within mass spectrometers. This remains an intriguing phenomenon, given the importance placed on water molecules in stabilizing protein structure. As a consequence, the overall structure of protein molecules and their complexes in the gas phase continues to stimulate much research. The eventual outcomes of this research will not only increase the number of applications of mass spectrometry to structural biology, but will also enhance our understanding of the interactions important for maintaining protein complexes in the absence of bulk solvent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vacuum
  • Water / chemistry


  • Proteins
  • Water