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Triple-Detection Size-Exclusion Chromatography of Membrane Proteins

  • Membrane proteins are generally soluble only in the presence of detergent micelles or other membrane-mimetic systems, which renders the determination of the protein’s molar mass or oligomeric state difficult. Moreover, the amount of bound detergent varies drastically among different proteins and detergents. However, the type of detergent and its concentration have a great influence on the protein’s structure, stability, and functionality and the success of structural and functional investigations and crystallographic trials. Size-exclusion chromatography, which is commonly used to determine the molar mass of water-soluble proteins, is not suitable for detergent-solubilised proteins because the protein–detergent complex has a different conformation and, thus, commonly exhibits a different migration behaviour than globular standard proteins. Thus, calibration curves obtained with standard proteins are not useful for membrane-protein analysis. However, the combination of size-exclusion chromatography with ultraviolet absorbance, static light scattering, and refractive index detection provides a tool to determine the molar mass of protein–detergent complexes in an absolute manner and allows for distinguishing the contributions of detergent and protein to the complex. The goal of this thesis was to refine the standard triple-detection size-exclusion chromatography measurement and data analysis procedure for challenging membrane-protein samples, non-standard detergents, and difficult solvents such as concentrated denaturant solutions that were thought to elude routine approaches. To this end, the influence of urea on the performance of the method beyond direct influences on detergents and proteins was investigated with the help of the water-soluble bovine serum albumin. On the basis of the obtained results, measurement and data analysis procedures were refined for different detergents and protein–detergent complexes comprising the membrane proteins OmpLA and Mistic from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. The investigations on mass and shape of different detergent micelles and the compositions of protein–detergent complexes in aqueous buffer and concentrated urea solutions showed that triple-detection size-exclusion chromatography provides valuable information about micelle masses and shapes under various conditions. Moreover, it is perfectly suited for the straightforward analysis of detergent-suspended proteins in terms of composition and oligomeric state not only under native but, more importantly, also under denaturing conditions.

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Author:Katharina Gimpl
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-43579
Advisor:Sandro Keller
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2016/04/16
Year of Publication:2016
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2016/04/08
Date of the Publication (Server):2016/04/18
Tag:Biophysics; Protein/detergent complexes; Static light scattering
Number of page:115
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Biologie
DDC-Cassification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 530 Physik
5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Licence (German):Standard gemäß KLUEDO-Leitlinien vom 30.07.2015