Amelogenin, a matrix protein involved in biomineralization of enamel, can self-assemble to form nanospheres in a pH-dependent manner. Nucleic acids (single-stranded, double-stranded, and plasmid DNA, as well as RNA) could be co-precipitated with amelogenin, demonstrating a strong binding of nucleic acids to amelogenin. The amounts of co-precipitated nucleic acids were analyzed and binding levels upto 90 μg DNA/mg amelogenin was achieved. The co-precipitation could also be carried out in a bacterial cell homogenate, and no bacterial proteins were found in the amelogenin aggregates, suggesting specificity for nucleic acid binding. Dynamic light scattering showed that amelogenin nanosphere structure is maintained upon DNA binding with an upto 2.6 nm increase in diameter. The reported binding of nucleic acids to amelogenin can be explored practically for nucleic acid separation.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology