SAIDE: A Semi-Automated Interface for Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry

Proteomica. 2010;6:63-69.


Deuterium/hydrogen exchange in combination with mass spectrometry (DH MS) is a sensitive technique for detection of changes in protein conformation and dynamics. Since temperature, pH and timing control are the key elements for reliable and efficient measurement of hydrogen/deuterium content in proteins and peptides, we have developed a small, semiautomatic interface for deuterium exchange that interfaces the HPLC pumps with a mass spectrometer. This interface is relatively inexpensive to build, and provides efficient temperature and timing control in all stages of enzyme digestion, HPLC separation and mass analysis of the resulting peptides. We have tested this system with a series of standard tryptic peptides reconstituted in a solvent containing increasing concentration of deuterium. Our results demonstrate the use of this interface results in minimal loss of deuterium due to back exchange during HPLC desalting and separation. For peptides reconstituted in a buffer containing 100% deuterium, and assuming that all amide linkages have exchanged hydrogen with deuterium, the maximum loss of deuterium content is only 17% of the label, indicating the loss of only one deuterium molecule per peptide.