Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Lars Konermann


Proteins are biological macromolecules responsible for the majority of all physiological processes. In order to properly function proteins are required to adopt highly ordered structures. These structural aspects may be found within a single protein or arise from multi-protein complexes. Here hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) is employed as a tool to determine the extent of protein higher order structure. Exposure to D2O-based solvent causes the heavier isotope to exchange with amide hydrogens in the polypeptide backbone. This exchange is mainly dependent on protein conformation because the presence of stable hydrogen-bonded secondary structure will impede the incorporation of deuterium when compared to regions that are unstructured. In this work HDX-MS is used to study denaturant-induced unfolding of oxidized and reduced cytochrome c as well as ATP binding to the ε subunit of FOF1-ATP synthase. This work also lays the foundation to use this technique to study larger, more complex systems.