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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 20;61(46):11140-50. doi: 10.1021/jf403847k. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

Emulsifying and interfacial properties of vicilins: role of conformational flexibility at quaternary and/or tertiary levels.

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1
Department of Food Science and Technology, South China University of Technology , Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

Although the functionality of plant proteins (and soy proteins in particular) has been widely investigated in the last decades, the importance of conformational characteristics to their functionalities is still far away from being understood. The aim of the present work was to unravel the role of conformational flexibility at the quaternary and/or tertiary levels in the emulsifying and interfacial properties of phaseolin, an ideal vicilin (or 7S globulin) from red kidney bean. The conformational flexibility at quaternary and tertiary levels of phaseolin was modulated by urea with increasing concentrations from 0 to 8 M, as characterized by using dynamic light scattering (DLS), intrinsic fluorescence and derivative UV spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The emulsifying and interfacial properties, including emulsifying ability, flocculated state of oil droplets (in fresh emulsions), emulsion stability against creaming, and adsorption dynamics at the oil-water interface, were characterized at a specific protein concentration of 0.5% (w/v). The results indicated that increasing the urea concentration resulted in a progressive dissociation of trimeric phaseolin molecules into monomeric subunits, and even a structural unfolding of dissociated subunits; the urea-induced conformational changes at quaternary and/or tertiary levels were reversible, and the molecules at high urea concentrations shared similar structural features to the "molten globule state". On the other hand, increasing the urea concentration progressively improved the emulsifying ability of the protein, and flocculated extent of oil droplets in the fresh emulsions, but led to a progressive decrease in interfacial protein concentration. The improvement of the emulsifying ability was not related to diffusion (during initial adsorption) and penetration at the interface, but highly dependent on ease of structural rearrangement of the adsorbed proteins. These observations clearly confirmed that the flexibility of phaseolin at quaternary and/or tertiary levels plays a vital role in its emulsifying ability, mainly through the way of affecting the ease of structural rearrangement of adsorbed proteins at the interface. The findings could provide an in-depth understanding of the importance of conformational flexibility for the emulsifying properties of oligomeric storage globulins, and thus are of great help to guide the modifications of the proteins for better emulsifying properties.

PMID:
24151988
DOI:
10.1021/jf403847k
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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