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Regulation of Lysozyme Activity Based on Thermotolerant Protein/Smart Polymer Complex Formation

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posted on 2009-05-13, 00:00 authored by Sumon Ganguli, Keitaro Yoshimoto, Shunsuke Tomita, Hiroshi Sakuma, Tsuneyoshi Matsuoka, Kentaro Shiraki, Yukio Nagasaki
Proteins have evolved to acquire highly specialized biological functions and are ideal for various applications in both medicine and biotechnology, although denaturation is one of the major problems in protein chemistry. Here, we show a novel strategy for the regulation and preservation of the enzymatic activity even after heat treatment by the complex formation with a cationic smart copolymer, poly(N,N-diethylaminoethyl methacrylate)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEAMA-g-PEG). PEAMA-g-PEG suppressed the enzymatic activity of lysozyme completely without any conformational change, indicating complex formation and the capping of the active site of lysozyme by PEAMA-g-PEG. The addition of an anionic polymer, poly(acrylic acid) (PAAc), recovered the inhibited enzymatic activity of the lysozyme/PEAMA-g-PEG complex completely. Surprisingly, even after heating the lysozyme with PEAMA-g-PEG for 20 min at 98 °C, the addition of PAAc recovered 80% enzymatic activity of lysozyme. Circular dichroism (CD) spectral analysis clearly indicated that the irreversible inactivation of lysozyme induced by the heat treatment was suppressed by the complex formation with PEAMA-g-PEG.

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