Top-down LESA mass spectrometry protein analysis of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria

Robin May, Helen Cooper, Klaudia Kocurek, Josephine Bunch, Leanne Stones

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We have previously shown that liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) mass spectrometry (MS) is a technique suitable for the top-down analysis of proteins directly from intact colonies of the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli K-12. Here we extend the application of LESA MS to Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa PS1054 and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus MSSA476, as well as two strains of E. coli (K-12 and BL21 mCherry) and an unknown species of Staphylococcus. Moreover, we demonstrate the discrimination between three species of Gram-positive Streptococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae D39, and the viridans group Streptococcus oralis ATCC 35037 and Streptococcus gordonii ATCC35105), a recognized challenge for matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight MS. A range of the proteins detected were selected for top-down LESA MS/MS. Thirty-nine proteins were identified by top-down LESA MS/MS, including 16 proteins that have not previously been observed by any other technique. The potential of LESA MS for classification and characterization of novel species is illustrated by the de novo sequencing of a new protein from the unknown species of Staphylococcus. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2066–2077
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number10
Early online date5 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • LESA
  • Mass-spectrometry
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Diagnosis


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