Analytica Chimica Acta, 634(1), p. 1-14 (2009); doi:10.1016/j.aca.2008.12.014
Many proteins contain iron as metal ion either within their own structures or bound to their active sites. These iron-containing proteins are involved in numerous biological processes and some of them serve as biomarkers of clinical pathologies, not only related to iron homeostasis but also to other physiological disorders. Thus, a variety of analytical strategies have been developed over the last years in order to conduct studies on Fe-containing proteins. Among them, mass spectrometric (MS) methods still remain as preferred tools since they provide the capabilities of structure elucidation together with quantitative possibilities. Therefore, in this work we have tried to summarize the most recent applications of elemental and molecular mass spectrometric-based methods for the characterization (mostly qualitative but quantitative in some cases) of the high abundant Fe-containing proteins used for clinical diagnosis.