Mass spectrometric analysis of cross-linking sites for the structure of proteins and protein complexes

Mol Biosyst. 2008 Aug;4(8):816-23. doi: 10.1039/b801810c. Epub 2008 Jun 10.


Mass spectrometry has become the method of choice to detect and quantify the minute amounts of proteins at the genomic scale. It has recently been adopted for three dimensional structure analyses of proteins or protein complexes by chemically cross-linking their intact forms and analyzing the cross-linked pieces after digestion. This highlight provides an overview of the technology with a focus on advances in the last two years. This cross-linking mass spectrometry has a great potential to become a powerful tool to supplement current X-ray and NMR method of protein structure analysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Mass Spectrometry / trends
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Proteins / chemistry*


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Proteins