Top-down mass spectrometry for protein molecular diagnostics, structure analysis, and biomarker discovery

Steven M. Patrie, Erika N. Cline

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Top-down mass spectrometry (TDMS) differs from the traditional bottom-up approach in that proteins are analyzed directly, rather than enzymatically digested prior to analysis. While bottom-up tends to be faster and more readily implemented, top-down has improved selectivity, enabling simultaneous characterization of dynamic and hard-to-predict events such as coding polymorphisms, alternative splicing, and posttranslational modifications. Thus, TDMS promises to provide a clearer picture of the biological variation that exists beyond gene translation. With the maturation of multidimensional sample processing procedures, data analysis tools, and “online” liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry technologies, top-down for proteomics investigations has achieved the sensitivity and dynamic range typically associated with peptide workflows. Plus, further advancements in native MS technologies have enabled TDMS to complement modern structural biology research by providing information on intact protein complexes such as subunit composition, stoichiometry, modifications, and interactions with various ligands and cofactors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProteomic and Metabolomic Approaches to Biomarker Discovery
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186077
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Chromatography
  • Fourier transform
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteoforms
  • Proteomics
  • Top-down

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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