Michael J. Thomas
The primary area of study is the identification of protein conformation using chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometric identification of the cross-linked sites. In collaboration with Dr. Sorci-Thomas we are presently working on the configuration of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) on synthetic HDL disks composed of phospholipid and apoA-I. An overall goal is to identify how apoA-I interacts with different enzymes and receptors that are responsible for the conversion of lipid-free apoA-I to spherical HDL and its subsequent uptake and metabolism. The figure shows our model for lipidated apoA-I disks derived from chemical cross-linking derived constraints.
A second area of active research is the development of mass spectrometric procedures and techniques to detect and quantify phospholipids, gangliosides, HETEs and other bioactive lipids extracted from tissues and cells. We are developing technology to increase the number of lipids that can be quantified from a single analysis and procedures to analyze the large amount of data generated by these procedures.
Our mass spectrometric data are obtained through the Mass Spectrometer Facility that is equipped with a Waters Q-TOF with a mass accuracy of 3 ppm for proteomics. Lipid analyses (lipidomics) are performed on our new TSQ Quantum and the established Quattro II triple quadrupole mass spectrometers. A Triversa Nanomate source was recently added to increase sensitivity and analysis accuracy.
Mass Spectrometer Facility
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