Many cellular signalling events are controlled by the selective recruitment of protein complexes to membranes. Determining the molecular basis for how lipid signalling complexes are recruited, assembled and regulated on specific membrane compartments has remained challenging due to the difficulty of working in conditions mimicking native biological membrane environments. Enzyme recruitment to membranes is controlled by a variety of regulatory mechanisms, including binding to specific lipid species, protein–protein interactions, membrane curvature, as well as post-translational modifications. A powerful tool to study the regulation of membrane signalling enzymes and complexes is hydrogen deuterium exchange–MS (HDX–MS), a technique that allows for the interrogation of protein dynamics upon membrane binding and recruitment. This review will highlight the theory and development of HDX–MS and its application to examine the molecular basis of lipid signalling enzymes, specifically the regulation and activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks).

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