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Comparison of the Thermal Denaturing of Human Serum Albumin in the Presence of Guanidine Hydrochloride and 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Ionic Liquids.


J Phys Chem B. 2013 Feb 6;


Authors: Heller WT


Abstract

The interaction of proteins with aqueous solutions of ionic liquids (ILs) has attracted considerable recent attention owing to the challenges of finding biocompatible water-free ILs. These systems remain of great interest because of the potential for using ILs as designer solvents for biocatalytic processes. Increasing evidence demonstrates that aqueous solutions of water-miscible ILs, such as the well-studied 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium ILs, disrupt the native fold of proteins, and can drive the formation of non-native aggregates that could negatively impact catalytic function. Here, we present a study comparing the thermal unfolding of human serum albumin (HSA) in a 1M solution of the protein denaturant guanidine hydrochloride with two 1M aqueous solutions of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium ILs, namely the chloride and the acetate. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements found qualitative agreement between the thermally-driven unfolding process for the three denaturants, as well as with a Tris buffer solution. HSA irreversibly aggregates and unfolds in the three denaturant solutions upon heating to temperatures below that required to drive the same process in a simple Tris buffer solution. The results reveal subtle differences in the interaction of the ILs and guanidine hydrochloride with the protein, although the final state of the protein was similar in all cases. The results indicate that the ions of water-miscible ILs and guanidine hydrochloride have specific roles in disrupting protein structure and driving aggregation. The experimental approach employed has the potential to provide new insights into protein interactions with ionic liquids that may aid in the search for more biocompatible ionic liquids.

PMID: 23387869 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]