Scientists from ITMO University in Saint Petersburg and Hebrew University in Jerusalem have found a way to recover a protein structure after its chemical denaturation. The method is based on electrostatic interaction between folded, or denatured, proteins and alumina, which unwrap them. The authors highlight the versatility of the method: it works for both specific molecules and, for the first time ever, multiprotein systems - nobody has been able to recover mixtures of enzymes before. This can help simplify and cheapen the production of drug proteins for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's treatment. The study appeared in Scientific Reports.
Proteins, especially including enzymes as accelerators of chemical reactions, are the basis of pharmaceutical and food industries. Meanwhile, 80% of these substances are lost during synthesis. Influenced by unfavorable factors like strong acids, alkalis or heating, proteins denature, that is they lose the native shape and simultaneously any chemical activity.
Thus, the industry seeks for a universal method for recovering protein structure, which could make the production cheaper and more effective. To manufacture enzyme-based drugs and foods on an industrial scale it is especially important to find a way to recover mixtures of proteins as renaturating each particular type of enzymes separately takes a lot of time and is costly and inefficient.
Russian chemists in cooperation with foreign colleagues proposed a solution to this issue. They developed a technology process that gave a second life to proteins having returned their molecules to the original form after denaturation.
In the new research, the chemists unfolded molecules of three enzymes: carbonic anhydrase, phosphatase and peroxidase. Denatured by a strong alkaline, the proteins were mixed with nanoparticles of alumina in water. Due to electrostatic interaction, the enzymes attracted the nanoparticles and engaged them in forming a supramolecular complex with not chemical, but physical bonds.
This shell of nanoparticles protected protein molecules from aggregation enabling the scientists to easily extract them from the aggressive media. Washed from denaturing substances, the enzymes restored their structure by themselves. "Constant exposure of denaturing agents and tendency of curling macromolecules to aggregation are major obstacles for recovering proteins. When removing these factors, we were able to regenerate our objects," says Katerina Volodina, second year graduate student of International Laboratory "Solution Chemistry of Advanced Materials and Technologies" at ITMO University.
Changing pH, the scientists separated nanoparticles from proteins showing that the substances involved in the experiment can be repeatedly used.
The authors applied their method to a mixture of two enzymes: carbonic anhydrase and phosphatase (CAB and AcP). For these proteins, the portion of renaturated molecules was more than half, which was an unprecedented result. "Renaturating of multiprotein mixtures is a unique process; never been done before. But my colleagues and I believe that further research in this area is in the great interest of pharmaceutical companies right now. Theoretically, our method can simplify and cheapen the manufacture of drugs for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's therapy. Many of these medicines are made of proteins", notes Katerina Volodina.
Besides its versatility and high performance, the technology proposed by ITMO University's chemists is also fast and low-cost. The scientists are going to evolve the approach mostly to renaturation of proteins in complex mixtures.
Katerina V. Volodina, David Avnir and Vladimir V. Vinogradov (2017), Alumina nanoparticle-assisted enzyme refolding: A versatile methodology for proteins renaturation, Scientific Reports, http://www.
ITMO University (Saint Petersburg) is a national research university, the leading Russian university in the field of information and photonic technologies. The university is the alma mater of winners of numerous international programming competitions: ACM ICPC (the only seven-time world champions), Google Code Jam, Facebook Hacker Cup, Yandex Algorithm, Russian Code Cup, Topcoder Open etc. Priority research areas: IT, photonic technologies, robotics, quantum communication, translational medicine, urban studies, art&science, and science communication. Starting from 2013, the university has been a member of Project 5-100, which unites top Russian universities to improve their status in the international research and education arena. In 2016 ITMO University became 56th among the world's top universities in Computer Science, according to the Times Higher Education ranking, and scored 3rd among Russian universities in the overall THE ranking.
Dmitry Malkov | EurekAlert!
Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy