Metalloproteins play a critical role in human health. There have been estimations that over 30% of known proteins require metal cofactors for proper functionality. Since their discovery, metalloproteins have been the focus of research in biology and medicine because of their various functions in connection with protein folding and neurodegenerative diseases, metalloenzyme activtiy, and detoxification through transport and storage mechanisms.
The advent of modern medicine results in an increasing amount of metallic materials being used in implantable medical devices. Metals from implants have been shown to bind to circulating blood cells and endothelial cells that line blood vessels. The exogenous metals can disrupt the formation of normal metalloprotein paris, but also result in new and inapproporiate metalloprotein complexes that adversely affect cellular function. The objective of this research is to facilitate determination of metal ions that play a role in the etiology of metal related pathology. Opportunitites are available using state-of-the-art laser ablation ICP-MS, LC/ICP-MS, MALDI-MS, LC/MS, and LC/MS/MS with peptide mapping for detection and identification of metalloprotein health markers. Furthermore, metal-protein binding energy, metalloproteins conformation (i.e., folding), energetics, and dynamics governing the interaction between the metal and protein can be studied through internal-external collaboration by using ESI-MS/MS, multi-nuclear NMR, and quantum chemical methodlogies based on parameteric Hamiltonians.