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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2006 Mar 20;833(1):12-8. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Purification and characterization of phycocyanin from the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.

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Institute of Histology and Laboratory Analyses, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Zeppi, Urbino 61029, PU, Italy.


Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is a blue-green alga and represents a nutrient-dense food source. In this study the presence of phycocyanin (PC), a blue protein belonging to the photosynthetic apparatus, has been demonstrated in AFA. An efficient method for its separation has been set up: PC can be purified by a simple single step chromatographic run using a hydroxyapatite column (ratio A620/A280 of 4.78), allowing its usage for health-enhancing properties while eliminating other aspecific algal components. Proteomic investigation and HPLC analysis of purified AFA phycobilisomes revealed that, contrary to the well-characterized Synechocystis and Spirulina spp., only one type of biliprotein is present in phycobilisomes: phycocyanins with no allo-phycocyanins. Two subunit polypeptides of PC were also separated: the beta subunit containing two bilins as chromophore and the alpha subunit containing only one.

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