Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Pept Protein Res. 1996 Sep;48(3):240-8.

Anomalous mobility of sulfitolysed proteins in SDS-PAGE. Analysis and applications.

Author information

Recombinant Gene Products, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, India.


Some cysteine-containing proteins upon sulfitolysis have been found to show anomalously retarded SDS-PAGE mobilities in non-reducing gels. These proteins include bovine serum albumin, ovalbumin, aldolase, ribonuclease and a recombinant fusion protein (XA) consisting of a portion of gamma-interferon linked to the A chain of human insulin. This mobility shift has been employed to determine the stability of the sulfonated products and to study the kinetics of the sulfitolysis reaction. Partially sulfonated products of intermediate shifts were observed at 0.01% beta-ME, while 0.05% beta-ME gave a shift characteristic of the completely reduced protein. The undiluted sulfitolysis reagent reacted with XA to give within 1 min a gel shift characteristic of the fully sulfitolysed protein. Its transition stages could be visualized at 15, 30 and 60 min when the reagent was diluted four-fold. In the presence of 8 M urea, the sulfitolysis of BSA was nearly complete at 30 min when the sulfitolysis reagent was used at a dilution of 1:5. However, under the same conditions BSA was predominantly unsulfitolysed in the absence of urea. In order to elucidate the mechanism of sulfonation shift, several derivatives of XA, e.g. performic acid oxidized, alkylated with (a) iodoacetamide and (b) iodoacetate, have been prepared. While the mobility of XASSO3- was sensitive to the presence of beta-ME, all other derivatives moved in a beta-ME-insensitive fashion. Furthermore, while the nonreducing mobilities of the acidic derivatives (-SSO3-, -SO3- and -SCH2CO2-) were anomalously retarded and identical, the mobility of the iodoacetamide derivative was intermediate between the retarded acidic derivatives above and XA below. These studies have suggested a role of the extended conformation of the A chain of insulin in causing a mobility shift of the acidic derivatives in this series. Similar results were observed in an analogous series of derivatives prepared from BSA. Non-denaturing gel filtration analyses of native vs. sulfitolysed samples of serum albumin, ovalbumin and ribonuclease have indicated that the sulfitolysed proteins elute earlier than their native counterparts and appear to be significantly larger than their true molecular weights. Circular dichroism analysis has indicated significant loss in helicity of sulfitolysed BSA. This suggests that the retarded mobility of sulfitolysed proteins seen on SDS-PAGE is likely to be due to an expansion in the hydrodynamic volumes of these proteins, a phenomenon triggered by cleavage of disulfide bonds and further accentuated by the introduction of strongly negatively charged sulfonates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center