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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2011 May 21;13(19):8881-8. doi: 10.1039/c0cp02247k. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Puroindoline-a, a lipid binding protein from common wheat, spontaneously forms prolate protein micelles in solution.

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  • 1ISIS Spallation Neutron Source, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, OX11 0QX, UK.


The self-assembly in solution of puroindoline-a (Pin-a), an amphiphilic lipid binding protein from common wheat, was investigated by small angle neutron scattering, dynamic light scattering and size exclusion chromatography. Pin-a was found to form monodisperse prolate ellipsoidal micelles with a major axial radius of 112 ± 4.5 Å and minor axial radius of 40.4 ± 0.18 Å. These protein micelles were formed by the spontaneous self-assembly of 38 Pin-a molecules in solution and were stable over a wide pH range (3.5-11) and at elevated temperatures (20-65 °C). Pin-a micelles could be disrupted upon addition of the non-ionic surfactant dodecyl-β-maltoside, suggesting that the protein self-assembly is driven by hydrophobic forces, consisting of intermolecular interactions between Trp residues located within a well-defined Trp-rich domain of Pin-a.

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