Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemists brought mixed folded proteins to life

12.06.2017

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.


The alumina nanoparticle-assisted enzyme refolding process is shown.

Credit: ITMO University

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.

###

Reference:

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.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-01436-6

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.

Media Contact

Dmitry Malkov
dvmalkov@corp.ifmo.ru
7-953-377-5508

 @spbifmo_en

http://en.ifmo.ru/ 

Dmitry Malkov | EurekAlert!

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A cavity leads to a strong interaction between light and matter

Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.

Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Kirigami inspires new method for wearable sensors

22.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

3D printing, bioinks create implantable blood vessels

22.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

Ionic channels in carbon electrodes for efficient electrochemical energy storage

22.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>