Analysis of protein-protein interaction using proteinchip array-based SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Methods Mol Biol. 2012;818:217-26. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-418-6_15.


Protein-protein interactions are key elements in the assembly of cellular regulatory and signaling protein complexes that integrate and transmit signals and information in controlling and regulating various cellular processes and functions. Many conventional methods of studying protein-protein interaction, such as the immuno-precipitation and immuno-blotting assay and the affinity-column pull-down and chromatographic analysis, are very time-consuming and labor intensive and lack accuracy and sensitivity. We have developed a simple, rapid, and sensitive assay using a ProteinChip array and SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry to analyze protein-protein interactions and map the crucial elements that are directly involved in these interactions. First, a purified "bait" protein or a synthetic peptide of interest is immobilized onto the preactivated surface of a PS10 or PS20 ProteinChip and the unoccupied surfaces on the chip are protected by application of a layer ethanolamine to prevent them from binding to other non-interactive proteins. Then, the target-containing cellular protein lysate or synthetic peptide containing the predicted amino acid sequence of protein-interaction motif is applied to the protected array with immobilized bait protein/peptide. The nonspecific proteins/peptides are washed off under various stringent conditions and only the proteins specifically interacting with the bait protein/peptide remain on the chip. Last, the captured interacting protein/peptide complexes are then analyzed by SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry and their identities are confirmed by their predicted distinctive masses. This method can be used to unambiguously detect the specific protein-protein interaction of known proteins/peptides, to easily identify potential cellular targets of proteins of interest, and to accurately analyze and map the structural elements of a given protein and its target proteins using synthetic peptides with the predicted potential protein interaction motifs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Immobilized Proteins / chemistry
  • Immobilized Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Array Analysis / methods*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*
  • Time Factors


  • Immobilized Proteins