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Size Exclusion Chromatography Studies of the Initial Self-Association Steps of Chicken Egg White Lysozyme NucleationNucleation is one of the least understood aspects of crystallogenesis. In the case of macromolecule nucleation, this understanding is further hampered by uncertainty over what precisely is being discussed. We define the process of solute self-association (aggregation, oligomerization, interaction, clustering, etc.) whereby n-mers (n > or = 2) having a crystallographic or nascent crystallographic arrangement leading to the critical nucleus reversibly form in the solution, to be part of the nucleation process. This reversible self-association process is a fundamental part of the nucleation process, and occurs as a function of the solute concentration. In the case of chicken egg white lysozyme, a considerable body of experimental evidence leads us to the conclusion that it also forms the crystal growth units. Size exclusion chromatography is a simple and direct method for determining the equilibrium constants for the self-association process. A Pharmacia FPLC system was used to provide accurate solution flow rates. The column, injection valve, and sample loop were all mounted within a temperature-controlled chamber. Chromatographically re-purified lysozyme was first dialyzed against the column equilibration buffer, with injection onto the column after several hours pre-incubation at the running temperature. Preliminary experiments, were carried out using a Toyopearl HW-50F column (1 x 50cm), equilibrated with 0.1 M sodium acetate, 5% sodium chloride, pH 4.6, at 15C. Protein concentrations from 0.1 to 4 mg/ml were employed (C(sub sat) = 1.2 mg/ml). The data from several different protein preparations consistently shows a progressively decreasing elution volume with increasing protein concentration, indicating that reversible self-association is occurring. The dotted line indicates the monomeric lysozyme elution volume. However, lysozyme interacts with the column matrix in these experiments, which complicates data analysis.Accordingly, we are testing silica-based HPLC columns in an effort to eliminate this problem and substantially reduce the column volume and experimental run time. The results and data analysis from these and subsequent experiments will be presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Ewing, Felecia (Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL United States)
Donovan, David (Raytheon Co. Huntsville, AL United States)
Pusey, Marc (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
ICCBM 8(SanDestin, FL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.