The surface exposed amino acid residues of monomeric proteins determine the partitioning in aqueous two-phase systems

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It is of great interest and importance how different amino acid residues contribute to and affect the properties of a protein surface, Partitioning in aqueous two-phase systems has the potential to be used as a rapid and simple method for studying the surface properties of proteins. The influence on partitioning of the surface exposed amino acid residues of eight structurally determined monomeric proteins has been studied. The proteins were characterized in terms of surface exposed residues with a computer program, Graphical Representation and Analysis of Surface Properties (GRASP), and partitioned in two EO30PO70-dextran aqueous two-phase systems, only differing in polymer concentrations (system I: 6.8% EO30PO70, 7.1% dextran; system II: 9% EO30PO70, 9% dextran). We show for the first time that the partitioning behaviour of different monomeric proteins can be described by the differences in surface exposed amino acid residues. The contribution to the partition coefficient of the residues was found to be best characterized by peptide partitioning in the aqueous two-phase system. Compared to hydrophobicity scales available in the literature, each amino acid contribution is characterized by the slope given by the graph of log K against peptide chain length, for peptides of different length containing only one kind of residue. It was also shown that each amino acid contribution is relative to the total protein surface and the other residues on the surface. Surface hydrophobicity calculations realized for systems I and 11 gave respectively correlation coefficients of 0.961 and 0.949 for the linear relation between log K and calculated hydrophobicity values. To study the effect on the partition coefficient of different amino acids, they were grouped into classes according to common characteristics: the presence of an aromatic group, a long aliphatic chain or the presence of charge. Using these groups it was possible to confirm that aromatic residues have the strongest effect on the partition coefficient, giving preference to the upper EO30PO70 phase of the system; on the other hand the presence of charged amino acids on the protein surface enhances the partition of the protein to the lower dextran phase. It is also important to note that the sensitivity of the EO30PO70-dextran system for the surface exposed residues was increased by increasing the polymer concentrations. The partition coefficient of a monomeric protein can thus be predicted from its surface exposed amino acid residues and the system can also be used to characterize protein surfaces of monomeric proteins in general. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


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Sidor (från-till)253-268
TidskriftBBA - Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2002
Peer review utfördJa