European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 553–562 | Cite as

Structure and dynamics of egg white ovalbumin adsorbed at the air/water interface

  • Elena V. Kudryashova
  • Marcel B. J. Meinders
  • Antonie J. W. G. Visser
  • Arie van Hoek
  • Harmen H. J. de JonghEmail author


The molecular properties of egg white ovalbumin adsorbed at the air/water interface were studied using infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) and time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy (TRFA) techniques. Ovalbumin adsorbed at the air/water interface adopts a characteristic partially unfolded conformation in which the content of the β-sheet is 10% lower compared to that of the protein in bulk solution. Adsorption to the interface leads to considerable changes in the rotational dynamics of ovalbumin. The results indicate that the end-over-end mobility of the ellipsoidal protein becomes substantially restricted. This is likely to reflect a preferential orientation of the protein at the interface. Continuous compression of surface layers of ovalbumin causes local aggregation of the protein, resulting in protein–network formation at the interface. The altered protein–protein interactions contribute to the strong increase in surface pressure observed.


Infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy Protein structure Surface compression Surface layer Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy 



This research has been supported by a VLAG research school grant 2000 and by an INTAS grant YSF 2001/2-0147.


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Copyright information

© EBSA 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena V. Kudryashova
    • 2
  • Marcel B. J. Meinders
    • 1
    • 3
  • Antonie J. W. G. Visser
    • 4
  • Arie van Hoek
    • 4
  • Harmen H. J. de Jongh
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Wageningen Centre for Food SciencesWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Division of Chemical Enzymology, Chemistry DepartmentMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Agrotechnological Research InstituteWageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Microspectroscopy Centre, Laboratories of Biochemistry and BiophysicsWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.TNO Nutrition and Food Research InstituteZeistThe Netherlands

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