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Surface-sampling mass spectrometry to study proteins and protein complexes

Wong, Kei F.Carver; Greatorex, Rebecca E.; Gidman, Charlotte E.; Rahman, Sidrah; Griffiths, Rian L.

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Kei F.Carver Wong

Rebecca E. Greatorex

Charlotte E. Gidman

Sidrah Rahman


This review aims to summarise the current capabilities of surface mass spectrometry (MS) approaches that offer intact protein analysis, and that of non-covalent complexes. Protein analysis is largely achieved via matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI), which is in itself a surface analysis approach or solvent-based electrospray ionisation (ESI). Several surface sampling approaches have been developed based on ESI, and those that have been used for intact protein analysis will be discussed below. The extent of protein coverage, top-down elucidation, and probing of protein structure for native proteins and non-covalent complexes will be discussed for each approach. Strategies for improving protein analysis, ranging from sample preparation, and sampling methods to instrument modifications and the inclusion of ion mobility separation in the workflow will also be discussed. The relative benefits and drawbacks of each approach will be summarised, providing an overview of current capabilities.


Wong, K. F., Greatorex, R., Gidman, C., Rahman, S., & Griffiths, R. L. (2023). Surface-sampling mass spectrometry to study proteins and protein complexes. Essays in Biochemistry, 67(2), 229-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 5, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 29, 2023
Publication Date Mar 29, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 10, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 13, 2023
Journal Essays in Biochemistry
Print ISSN 0071-1365
Electronic ISSN 1744-1358
Publisher Portland Press Ltd.
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 67
Issue 2
Pages 229-241
Keywords Imaging techniques, mass spectrometry, proteomics, surface analysis, Molecular Interactions, Omics, Structural Biology
Public URL
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