Mechanisms of phase behaviour and protein partitioning in detergent/polymer aqueous two-phase systems for purification of integral membrane proteins1

Ulf Sivars, Folke Tjerneld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Detergent/polymer aqueous two-phase systems are studied as a fast, mild and efficient general separation method for isolation of labile integral membrane proteins. Mechanisms for phase behaviour and protein partitioning of both membrane-bound and hydrophilic proteins have been examined in a large number of detergent/polymer aqueous two-phase systems. Non-ionic detergents such as the Triton series (polyoxyethylene alkyl phenols), alkyl polyoxyethylene ethers (CmEOn), Tween series (polyoxyethylene sorbitol esters) and alkylglucosides form aqueous two-phase systems in mixtures with hydrophilic polymers, such as PEG or dextran, at low and moderate temperatures. Phase diagrams for these mixtures are shown and phase behaviour is discussed from a thermodynamic model. Membrane proteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin and cholesterol oxidase, were partitioned strongly to the micelle phase, while hydrophilic proteins, BSA and lysozyme, were partitioned to the polymer phase. The partitioning of membrane protein is mainly determined by non-specific hydrophobic interactions between detergent and membrane protein. An increased partitioning of membrane proteins to the micelle phase was found with an increased detergent concentration difference between the phases, lower polymer molecular weight and increased micelle size. Partitioning of hydrophilic proteins is mainly related to excluded volume effects, i.e. increased phase component size made the hydrophilic proteins partition more to the opposite phase. Addition of ionic detergent to the system changed the partitioning of membrane proteins slightly, but had a strong effect on hydrophilic proteins, and can be used for enhanced separation between hydrophilic proteins and membrane protein.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-146
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta. General Subjects
Volume1474
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • Membrane protein
  • Partitioning
  • Aqueous two-phase system
  • Phase behavior
  • Purification
  • Extraction

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