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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ligand-promoted transfer of proteins between phases: spontaneous and electrically helped.

A model system for the partitioning of peripheral membrane proteins into membranes by ligand binding has been examined experimentally. Both bovine serum albumin and lysozyme partition between water and 1-butanol by the addition of sodium p-toluene sulfonate at pH 2. 4. The partitioning is characterized by high orders of reaction: 25 and 10, respectively. Theory indicates that these high orders of reaction need not result from cooperative ligand binding in either phase, but depend primarily upon the number N of protein sites at which the transfer-promoting ligant binds, and on the difference in free energy of formation delta F0s of the protein--ligand complexes in the two phases. From the reaction orders and the experimental values of N, 80 for albumin and 11 for lysozyme, delta F0s was calculated to be --0.5 kcal/ mol (--2.1 kJ/ mol) and --0.8 kcal/ mol (--2.5 kJ/ mol) per ligand bound, respectively. Experiments measuring the dependence on ligand concentration of the rate of protein electrophoresis across the water/butanol interface are described. These rates increase by more than two orders of magnitude as the ligand concentration approaches the critical value for partition and are inversely dependent on the number of ligant sites for the two proteins studied.[1]


  1. Ligand-promoted transfer of proteins between phases: spontaneous and electrically helped. Mustacich, R.V., Weber, G. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1978) [Pubmed]
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