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Mol Biosyst. 2013 Dec;9(12):3068-79. doi: 10.1039/c3mb70329k. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Solvent interaction analysis of intrinsically disordered proteins in aqueous two-phase systems.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


In an aqueous two-phase system (ATPS), the partitioning of a protein is defined by the differential interactions of the protein with aqueous media in the two phases. Our study shows that partitioning of proteins in a set of ATPSs of different ionic compositions can be used to quantify structural differences between α-synuclein, its variants and several globular proteins. Since application of ATPSs implies the use of high concentrations of two polymers in water when a certain threshold concentration of the polymers is exceeded, and since these levels of polymer concentrations are similar to those commonly used to mimic the effects of macromolecular crowding on proteins, we used circular dichroism spectroscopy to evaluate the structural consequences of placing proteins in solutions with high polymer concentrations and various ionic compositions.

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