Materials based on ordered protein aggregates have recently received a lot of attention for their application as drug carriers, due to their biocompatibility and their ability to sequestermany biological fluids. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is a good candidate for this use due to its high availability and tendency to aggregate and gel under acidic conditions. In the present work, we employ spectroscopic techniques to investigate the heat-induced BSA aggregation at themolecular scale, in the 12–84 °C temperature range, at pH=5where two different isoforms of the protein are stable. Samples at low and high protein concentration are examined. With the advantage of the combined use of FTIR and CD, we recognize the aggregation-prone species and the different distribution of secondary structures, conformational rearrangements and types of aggregates, of millimolar compared to micromolar BSA solutions. Further, as a new tool, we use the Maximum Entropy Method to fit the kinetic curves to investigate the distribution of kinetic constants of the complex hierarchical aggregation process. Finally,we characterize the activation energy of the initial self-assembling step to observe that the formation of both small and large aggregates is driven by the same interactions.

Heat-induced self-assembling of BSA at the isoelectric point

Pier Luigi Gentili;Marco Paolantoni;Alessandro Paciaroni;Paola Sassi
2021

Abstract

Materials based on ordered protein aggregates have recently received a lot of attention for their application as drug carriers, due to their biocompatibility and their ability to sequestermany biological fluids. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is a good candidate for this use due to its high availability and tendency to aggregate and gel under acidic conditions. In the present work, we employ spectroscopic techniques to investigate the heat-induced BSA aggregation at themolecular scale, in the 12–84 °C temperature range, at pH=5where two different isoforms of the protein are stable. Samples at low and high protein concentration are examined. With the advantage of the combined use of FTIR and CD, we recognize the aggregation-prone species and the different distribution of secondary structures, conformational rearrangements and types of aggregates, of millimolar compared to micromolar BSA solutions. Further, as a new tool, we use the Maximum Entropy Method to fit the kinetic curves to investigate the distribution of kinetic constants of the complex hierarchical aggregation process. Finally,we characterize the activation energy of the initial self-assembling step to observe that the formation of both small and large aggregates is driven by the same interactions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1487352
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