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Aqueous two-phase metal affinity extraction of heme proteins

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An iminodiacetic acid derivative of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-IDA) that chelates metal cations has been synthesized and used to extract proteins in metal affinity aqueous two-phase PEG/dextran systems. With less than 1% of the PEG substituted with chelated copper, partition coefficients are shown to increase by factors of up to 37 over extraction with unsubstituted PEG. The proteins studied are preferentially extracted into the Cu(II)PEGIDA phase in proportion to the number of accessible histidine residues on their surface. The affinity contribution to partitioning is proportional to the number of exposed histidine over a very wide range. The partition coefficients of heme-containing proteins measured in the Cu(II)PEG-IDA/dextran systems increase with the pH of the extraction mixture from pH 5.5 to pH 8.0, while partition coefficients in the unsubstituted PEG/dextran systems are very nearly independent of pH. The strong pH dependence of the metalaffinity extraction can be utilized in the recovery of the extracted protein.

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Wuenschell, G.E., Naranjo, E. & Arnold, F.H. Aqueous two-phase metal affinity extraction of heme proteins. Bioprocess Engineering 5, 199–202 (1990).

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