MALDI-TOF is suitable to identify whether a protein is a dimer or a trimer?

Jay Evans evansj at
Tue Jan 28 14:12:44 EST 1997

In article <32EDFB6D.2792 at>, rlevine at wrote:

> As the responses have pointed out, MALDI-TOF conditions always (my
> experience) lead to dissociation of non-covalent subunits.  However, it
> seems to me that a simple solution is to add a cross-linking reagent to
> your sample, locking it in the correct quaternary structure.  After
> adding a quenching agent to take up the excess cross-linker, just run
> the MALDI.
> Has anyone tried this?
> Rod Levine

Yes, this has been done.  

Farmer, T. B., and R. M. Caprioli. 1991. Assessing the multimeric states
of proteins:  studies using laser desorption mass spectrometry. Biol. Mass
Spec. 20:796-800

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