Effects of ammonium sulfate and sodium chloride concentration on PEG/protein liquid-liquid phase separation

André C. Dumetz, Rachael A. Lewus, Abraham M. Lenhoff, Eric W. Kaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

When added to protein solutions, polyethylene glycol) (PEG) creates an effective attraction between protein molecules due to depletion forces. This effect has been widely used to crystallize proteins, and PEG is among the most successful crystallization agents in current use. However, PEG is almost always used in combination with a salt at either low or relatively high concentrations. Here the effects of sodium chloride and ammonium sulfate concentration on PEG 8000/ovalbumin liquid-liquid (L-L) phase separation are investigated. At low salt the L-L phase separation occurs at decreasing protein concentration with increasing salt concentration, presumably due to repulsive electrostatic interactions between proteins. At high salt concentration, the behavior depends on the nature of the salt. Sodium chloride has little effect on the L-L phase separation, but ammonium sulfate decreases the protein concentration at which the L-L phase separation occurs. This trend is attributed to the effects of critical fluctuations on depletion forces. The implications of these results for designing solution conditions optimal for protein crystallization are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10345-10351
Number of pages7
JournalLangmuir
Volume24
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2008

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