Aggregation Kinetics of Bovine Serum Albumin Studied by FTIR Spectroscopy and Light Scattering

Valeria Militello, Maurizio Leone, Antonio Emanuele, Carlo Casarino, Filippo Pullara

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226 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate which type of structural and conformational changes is involved in the aggregation processes of bovine serum albumin (BSA), we have performed thermal aggregation kinetics in D2O solutions of this protein. The tertiary conformational changes are followed by Amide II band, the secondary structural changes and the formation of β-aggregates by the Amide I′ band and, finally, the hydrodynamic radius of aggregates by dynamic light scattering. The results show, as a function of pD, that: tertiary conformational changes are more rapid as pD increases; the aggregation proceeds through formation of ordered aggregates (oligomers) at pD far from the isoelectric point of the protein; disordered structures add as the pD decreases. Moreover, β-aggregates seem to contribute only to oligomers formation, as showed by the good correlation between kinetics of scattering intensity and IR absorption intensity. These results indicate for BSA a general mechanism of aggregation composed by partial unfolding of the tertiary structure and by the decrease of α-helix and random coil contents in favor of β-sheet aggregates. This mechanism strictly depends on pD and gives rise to almost two distinct types of macromolecular aggregates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-187
Number of pages13
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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