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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Nov 28;311(4):1041-6.

A facile method for determining ice recrystallization inhibition by antifreeze proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry and the Protein Engineering Network of Centres of Excellence, Queen's University, Ont., K7L 3N6, Kingston, Canada.


Ice recrystallization, the growth of large ice crystals at the expense of small ones, stresses freeze tolerant organisms and causes spoilage of frozen foods. This process is inhibited by antifreeze proteins (AFPs). Here, we present a simple method for determining the ice recrystallization inhibition (RI) activity of an AFP under physiological conditions using 10microl glass capillaries. Serial dilutions were prepared to determine the concentration below which RI activity was no longer detected, termed the RI endpoint. For type III AFP this was 200nM. The capillary method allows samples to be aligned and viewed simultaneously, which facilitates RI endpoint determination. Once prepared, the samples can be used reproducibly in subsequent RI assays and can be archived in a freezer for future reference. This method was used to detect the elution of type III AFP from a Sephadex G-75 size-exclusion column. RI activity was found at the expected V(e) for a 7kDa protein and also unexpectedly in the void volume.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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