Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society

Chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry to determine the subunit interaction network in a recombinant human SAGA HAT subcomplex.

PMID 25753033


Understanding the way how proteins interact with each other to form transient or stable protein complexes is a key aspect in structural biology. In this study, we combined chemical cross-linking with mass spectrometry to determine the binding stoichiometry and map the protein-protein interaction network of a human SAGA HAT subcomplex. MALDI-MS equipped with high mass detection was used to follow the cross-linking reaction using bis[sulfosuccinimidyl] suberate (BS3) and confirm the heterotetrameric stoichiometry of the specific stabilized subcomplex. Cross-linking with isotopically labeled BS3 d0-d4 followed by trypsin digestion allowed the identification of intra- and intercross-linked peptides using two dedicated search engines: pLink and xQuest. The identified interlinked peptides suggest a strong network of interaction between GCN5, ADA2B and ADA3 subunits; SGF29 is interacting with GCN5 and ADA3 but not with ADA2B. These restraint data were combined to molecular modeling and a low-resolution interacting model for the human SAGA HAT subcomplex could be proposed, illustrating the potential of an integrative strategy using cross-linking and mass spectrometry for addressing the structural architecture of multiprotein complexes.