(1/36) Sedimentation velocity analysis of flexible macromolecules: self-association and tangling of amyloid fibrils.

A novel bead modeling technique has been developed for the analysis of the sedimentation velocity behavior of flexible fibrils. The method involves the generation of a family of bead models representing a sample of the conformations available to the molecule and the calculation of the sedimentation coefficients of these models by established techniques. This approach has been used to investigate the size distribution of amyloid fibrils formed by human apolipoprotein C-II (apoC-II). ApoC-II fibrils have a simple and homogeneous ribbon morphology with no evidence of amorphous aggregation. Freshly prepared apoC-II forms fibrils with systematically larger sedimentation coefficients upon increasing protein concentration (modes of 100, 300, and 800 for apoC-II concentrations of 0.3, 0.7, and 1.0 mg/mL, respectively). The sedimentation coefficient distributions are not affected by rotor speed, and are not significantly changed by dilution once the fibrils are formed. The kinetics of aggregation (1 mg/mL apoC-II) as assessed using thioflavin T and preparative pelleting assays reveal that monomeric apoC-II is depleted after approximately 12 h incubation at room temperature. In contrast, the sedimentation coefficient distribution of fibrils continues to grow larger over a period of 48 h to an average value of 800 S. Calculations using the bead modeling procedure suggest maximum sedimentation coefficients for individual apoC-II fibrils to be around 100 S. The larger experimentally observed sedimentation coefficients for apoC-II fibrils indicate an extensive and time-dependent tangling or association of the fibrils to form specific networks.  (+info)

(2/36) Ionic interactions play a role in the regulatory mechanism of scallop heavy meromyosin.

Heavy meromyosin from scallop (scHMM) striated muscle is regulated by calcium binding to the essential light chain. The regulation can be modeled with a calcium-dependent equilibrium between on and off scHMM conformations. The observed rate constant for mant-ADP dissociation from scHMM is calcium dependent, and we show here that it can be used to define the equilibrium constant (K(eq)) between on and off conformations. The data show that K(eq) is markedly ionic strength dependent, with high salt (>/=200 mM) abolishing the off state even in the absence of calcium and low salt (<50 mM) favoring the off state even in the presence of calcium. Debye-Huckel plots of the equilibrium constant (K(eq)) for the on and off forms gave parallel slopes (5.94 +/- 0.33 and 6.36 +/- 0.17 M(-0.5)) in the presence and absence of calcium. The presence of an equilibrium mixture of two conformations was confirmed by sedimentation data and the effects of ADP, calcium and ionic strength were in qualitative agreement. Thus scHMM exists in two conformations that can be distinguished in sedimentation profiles and by the rate of release of mant-ADP. Increasing salt concentrations biases the system toward the on state, suggesting a role for ionic interactions in stabilizing the off state.  (+info)

(3/36) Continuous particle separation through deterministic lateral displacement.

We report on a microfluidic particle-separation device that makes use of the asymmetric bifurcation of laminar flow around obstacles. A particle chooses its path deterministically on the basis of its size. All particles of a given size follow equivalent migration paths, leading to high resolution. The microspheres of 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0 micrometers that were used to characterize the device were sorted in 40 seconds with a resolution of approximately 10 nanometers, which was better than the time and resolution of conventional flow techniques. Bacterial artificial chromosomes could be separated in 10 minutes with a resolution of approximately 12%.  (+info)

(4/36) Solution formation of Holliday junctions in inverted-repeat DNA sequences.

The structure of Holliday junctions has now been well characterized at the atomic level through single-crystal X-ray diffraction in symmetric (inverted-repeat) DNA sequences. At issue, however, is whether the formation of these four-stranded complexes in solution is truly sequence dependent in the manner proposed or is an artifact of the crystallization process and, therefore, has no relevance to the behavior of this central intermediate in homologous recombination and recombination-dependent cellular processes. Here, we apply analytical ultracentrifugation to demonstrate that the sequence d(CCGGTACCGG), which crystallizes in the stacked-X form of the junction, assembles into four-stranded junctions in solution in a manner that is dependent on the DNA and cation concentrations, with an equilibrium established between the junction and duplex forms at 100-200 microM DNA duplex. In contrast, the sequence d(CCGCTAGCGG), which has been crystallized as B-DNA, is seen to adopt only the double-helical form at all DNA and salt concentrations that were tested. Thus, the ACC trinucleotide core is now shown to be important for the formation of Holliday junctions in both crystals and in solution and can be estimated to contribute approximately -4 kcal/mol to stabilizing this recombination intermediate in inverted-repeat sequences.  (+info)

(5/36) Crystallohydrodynamics of protein assemblies: Combining sedimentation, viscometry, and x-ray scattering.

Crystallohydrodynamics describes the domain orientation in solution of antibodies and other multidomain protein assemblies where the crystal structures may be known for the domains but not the intact structure. The approach removes the necessity for an ad hoc assumed value for protein hydration. Previous studies have involved only the sedimentation coefficient leading to considerable degeneracy or multiplicity of possible models for the conformation of a given protein assembly, all agreeing with the experimental data. This degeneracy can be considerably reduced by using additional solution parameters. Conformation charts are generated for the three universal (i.e., size-independent) shape parameters P (obtained from the sedimentation coefficient or translational diffusion coefficient), nu (from the intrinsic viscosity), and G (from the radius of gyration), and calculated for a wide range of plausible orientations of the domains (represented as bead-shell ellipsoidal models derived from their crystal structures) and after allowance for any linker or hinge regions. Matches are then sought with the set of functions P, nu, and G calculated from experimental data (allowing for experimental error). The number of solutions can be further reduced by the employment of the D max parameter (maximum particle dimension) from x-ray scattering data. Using this approach we are able to reduce the degeneracy of possible solution models for IgG3 to a possible representative structure in which the Fab domains are directed away from the plane of the Fc domain, a structure in accord with the recognition that IgG3 is the most efficient complement activator among human IgG subclasses.  (+info)

(6/36) A critical review of analytical ultracentrifugation and field flow fractionation methods for measuring protein aggregation.

Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) and field flow fractionation (FFF) are 2 important biophysical methods for measuring protein aggregates. Both methods can separate protein monomer from its aggregate forms under a broad range of solution conditions. Recent advances in instrumentation and data analysis, particularly in the field of analytical ultracentrifugation technology, have significantly improved the capability and sensitivity of these biophysical methods for detecting protein aggregates. These advances have resulted in an increased use of these methods in the biopharmaceutical industry for characterization of therapeutic proteins. However, despite their many advantages over conventional methods, the difficulty in the use of the instrumentation and the complexity of data analysis process, have often hampered the widespread use and proper interpretation of data. This article reviews the recent progress in both technologies, and a few case studies are also presented to discuss their advantages and limitations.  (+info)

(7/36) Characterization of protein aggregation: the case of a therapeutic immunoglobulin.

In this paper, a therapeutic immunoglobulin (Antibody A) has been characterized in two solutions: (1) 0.1% acetic acid containing 50 mM magnesium chloride, a solution in which the immunoglobulin is stable, and (2) 10 mM sodium phosphate buffer pH approximately 7. The protein solutions were characterized by microscopy, asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (FFF), light scattering, circular dichroism, fluorescence and fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy. The results show that Antibody A dissolved in 0.1% acetic acid containing 50 mM magnesium chloride exists as 88% monomer, 2% low molecular weight aggregates and 10% high molecular weight aggregates (>1 million Dalton). In phosphate buffer, Antibody A formed micrometre-sized aggregates that were best characterized by fluorescence microscopy. The aggregation of Antibody A in phosphate buffer was shown to be concomitant with conformational changes in amino acid residue side chains. The aggregates formed in phosphate buffer were easily disrupted during FFF analysis, indicating that they are formed by weak interactions. The combination of microscopy, asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (FFF) and spectroscopy allowed a reliable assessment of protein self association and aggregation.  (+info)

(8/36) Complementary use of flow and sedimentation field-flow fractionation techniques for size characterizing biodegradable poly(lactic acid) nanospheres.

Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanoparticles were synthesized using a modified evaporation method, testing two different surfactants (sodium cholate and Pluronic F68) for the process. During their formulation the prodrug 5'-octanoyl-CPA (Oct-CPA) of the anti-ischemic N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) was encapsulated. Three different purification methods were compared with respect to the influence of surfactant on the size characteristics of the final nanoparticle product. Flow and sedimentation field-flow fractionation techniques (FlFFF and SdFFF, respectively) were used to size characterize the five poly(lactic acid) particle samples. Two different combinations of carrier solution (mobile phase) were employed in the FlFFF analyses, while a solution of poly(vinyl alcohol) was used as mobile phase for the SdFFF runs. The separation performances of the two techniques were compared and the particle size distributions (PSDs), derived from the fractograms, were interpreted with the support of observations by scanning electron microscopy. Some critical aspects, such as the carrier choice and the channel thickness determination for the FlFFF, have been investigated. This is the first comprehensive comparison of the two FFF techniques for characterizing non-standard particulate materials. The two FFF techniques proved to be complementary and gave good, congruent and very useful information on the size distributions of the five poly(lactic acid) particle samples.  (+info)