Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics

Aggregation of mucin by chromium(III) complexes as revealed by electrokinetic and rheological studies: influence on the tryptic and O-glycanase digestion of mucin.

PMID 14769060


In the present study, the impact of chromium(III) complexes ([Cr(salen)(H2O)2](+) (1), [Cr(en)3]3+ (2) and [Cr(EDTA)(H2O)]- (3)) on the biophysical properties of mucin like specific viscosity, zeta potential and particle size has been investigated. It is evident from the present investigation that the nature of the coordinated ligand has a major role to play in bringing about the changes in the physical characteristics of the glycoprotein. It was observed that (1) and (3) because of their coordinate mode of binding lead to decrease in the specific viscosity of mucin, whereas (2) on the other hand was found to bring about drastic increase in the mucin viscosity due to sol-gel transition in the mucin conformation. Complex (2) was found to gradually lower the zeta potential value of mucin (particle size=51.5 nm) from -24.8 +/- 1.31 mV to -0.58 +/- 0.30 mV, which reveals aggregation (particle size=216 nm) and subsequent sedimentation of mucin with an increase in the average diameter of mucin particles. The binding of (2) to mucin was found to impart resistance to mucin against both tryptic and O-glycanase digestion, suggesting that, the aggregation of mucin causes conformational as well as configurational changes in the glycoprotein; thus perturbing the location of carbohydrate domains.