Focusing of alkaline proteases (subtilisins) in pH 10-12 immobilized gradients.

PMID 7720691


Isoelectric focusing in very alkaline immobilized pH gradients (IPG) was adopted for checking the purity and assessing the pI value of two strongly alkaline proteases: Savinase and Durazym. The first enzyme (known to be the most alkaline) contains 5 Asp, 5 Glu, 7 His, 7 Tyr, 5 Lys, no Cys and 8 Arg residues and should have a theoretical pI of 9.7. Yet, when focused in a pH 9-11 IPG interval, it was lost in the cathodic compartment. After repeated attempts at creating even more alkaline pH intervals, a pH 10-12 IPG range was finally optimized and proved successful in focusing both enzymes midway between the two electrodic compartments. The pI of Savinase was measured as 11.15 +/- 0.15; that of Durazym as 10.95 +/- 0.20 and that of the pI marker cytochrome c as 10.6 +/- 0.17. Both enzymes (and a number of minor components in each preparation) were proven to be active by an in situ zymogram consisting of a casein/agar overlay. The discrepancy between theoretical and experimental pI values could not be fully reconciled: when correcting for pK values of amino acids in proteins at 10 degrees C, instead of the tabulated values at 25 degrees C, the pI should increase to a value of 10. Differential UV spectra showed that ca. 1/2 Tyr are buried in the protein interior and are thus unable to contribute to surface charge. This further increases the pI value by 0.3 pH units to a value of 10.3, still quite removed from the experimentally assessed pI value (in the gel, at 10 degrees C) of 11.15.

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84885 pI-Select, set of 10 acrylamido buffer solutions (10 ml each) pK 1.0-12