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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development of Container Free Sample Exposure for Synchrotron X-ray Footprinting.

  • Author(s): Gupta, Sayan
  • Chen, Yan
  • Petzold, Christopher J
  • DePonte, Daniel P
  • Ralston, Corie Y
  • et al.

The method of X-ray footprinting and mass spectrometry (XFMS) on large protein assemblies and membrane protein samples requires high flux density to overcome the hydroxyl radical scavenging reactions produced by the buffer constituents and the total protein content. Previously, we successfully developed microsecond XFMS using microfluidic capillary flow and a microfocused broadband X-ray source at the Advanced Light Source synchrotron beamlines, but the excessive radiation damage incurred when using capillaries prevented the full usage of a high-flux density beam. Here we present another significant advance for the XFMS method: the instrumentation of a liquid injection jet to deliver container free samples to the X-ray beam. Our preliminary experiments with a liquid jet at a bending magnet X-ray beamline demonstrate the feasibility of the approach and show a significant improvement in the effective dose for both the Alexa fluorescence assay and protein samples compared to conventional capillary flow methods. The combination of precisely controlled high dose delivery, shorter exposure times, and elimination of radiation damage due to capillary effects significantly increases the signal quality of the hydroxyl radical modification products and the dose-response data. This new approach is the first application of container free sample handling for XFMS and opens up the method for even further advances, such as high-quality microsecond time-resolved XFMS studies.

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