Ultraviolet Photodissociation (UVPD) Spectroscopy of DMS-selected COVID‑19 peptide residues

Hopkins, Scott | $50,000

Ontario University of Waterloo 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

This project involves partnership between researchers at the University of Waterloo and mass spectrometry instrumentation company SCIEX (based in Concord, ON). We propose to use a combinatorial approach involving differential mobility spectrometry (DMS), mass spectrometry (MS), and ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) action spectroscopy for the unambiguous identification of peptides associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus post-digest. Specifically, our analysis will target spike proteins and antibody nucleoproteins to provide additional information with respect to protein sequence and structure. Analysis will include the measurement of peptide wavelength-dependant fragmentation patterns as an additional dimension of unique characterization. The experimental approach will be supplemented by high-level electronic structure theory calculations and resulting data will be used to train predictive machine learning (ML) algorithms for determining peptide and protein structure. This information will be useful for the development of new, fast COVID‑19 screening technologies and for the development of vaccines and therapeutics.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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