Analytical Chemistry | VOL. 94

Millisecond Hydrogen/Deuterium-Exchange Mass Spectrometry Approach to Correlate Local Structure and Aggregation in α-Synuclein

Publication Date Nov 22, 2022


In Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies, α-synuclein misfolds and aggregates. Its intrinsically disordered nature, however, causes it to adopt several meta-stable conformations stabilized by internal hydrogen bonding. Because they interconvert on short timescales, monomeric conformations of disordered proteins are difficult to characterize using common structural techniques. Few techniques can measure the conformations of monomeric α-synuclein, including millisecond hydrogen/deuterium-exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS). Here, we demonstrate a new approach correlating millisecond HDX-MS data with aggregation kinetics to determine the localized structural dynamics that underpin the self-assembly process in full-length wild-type monomeric α-synuclein. Our custom instrumentation and software enabled measurement of the amide hydrogen-exchange rates on the millisecond timescale for wild-type α-synuclein monomer up to residue resolution and under physiological conditions, mimicking those in the extracellular, intracellular, and lysosomal cellular compartments. We applied an empirical correction to normalize measured hydrogen-exchange rates and thus allow comparison between drastically different solution conditions. We characterized the aggregation kinetics and morphology of the resulting fibrils and correlate these with structural changes in the monomer. Applying a correlative approach to connect molecular conformation to aggregation in α-synuclein for the first time, we found that the central C-terminal residues of α-s...


Hydrogen/deuterium-exchange Mass Spectrometry Local Structural Dynamics Local Chemical Environment Monomeric Α-synuclein Wild-type Α-synuclein Custom Instrumentation Hydrogen-exchange Rates Conformations Of Α-synuclein Aggregation Kinetics Solution Conditions

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