Fast photochemical oxidation of proteins(FPOP): A powerful mass spectrometry based structural proteomics tool [Methods and Resources]

July 1st, 2019 by Dante T Johnson, Luciano H Di Stefano, Lisa M Jones

Fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) is a MS-based method that has proved useful in studies of protein structures, interactions, conformations, and protein folding. The success of this method relies on the irreversible labeling of solvent-exposed amino acid side chains by hydroxyl radicals. FPOP generates these radicals through laser-induced photolysis of hydrogen peroxide. The data obtained provide residue-level resolution of protein structures and interactions on the microsecond timescale, enabling investigations of fast processes such as protein folding and weak protein-protein interactions. An extensive comparison between FPOP and other footprinting techniques gives insight on their complementarity as well as the robustness of FPOP to provide unique structural information once unattainable. The versatility of this method is evidenced by both the heterogeneity of samples that can be analyzed by FPOP and the myriad of applications for which the method has been successfully used: from proteins of varying size to intact cells. This review discusses the wide applications of this technique and highlights its high potential. Applications including, but not limited to protein folding, membrane proteins, structure elucidation, and epitope mapping are showcased. Furthermore, the use of FPOP has been extended to probing proteins in-cell and in vivo. These promising developments are also presented herein.