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Title: Protein separation using surfactant precipitation
Author: Cheng, Shu Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 4552
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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Surfactant precipitation applied as a surfactant mediated protein purification technique has considerable potential in protein extraction, and therefore the understanding of the interactions involved and the folding behaviour in the precipitated protein was the first aim of this thesis. The key system parameters such as buffer salt concentration, molar ratio of surfactant to protein and pH which determines the protein stability in protein-surfactant complex formation were evaluated. The surfactant:protein ratio determines saturation of protein binding sites while pH determines the strength of affinity for ionic binding which influences hydrophobic binding with surfactant monomers causing the protein to lose its conformation. The protein-surfactant binding varied for lysozyme, cytochrome c and ribonuclease A with trypsin and α -chymotrypsin, and hence the denaturation profile. In the second aim, protein recovery from surfactant precipitation was enhanced by improving the solvent recovery method and, implementing a new and novel counterionic surfactant recovery method. The effect of a variety of recovery phases and solution conditions on lysozyme recovery was analysed in terms of their ability in maintaining protein stability, recovery yield, and activity. It was found that solvent recovery was limited by solvent polarity and protein solubility, and that the cationic surfactant, trioctylmethylammonium chloride (TOMAC), used to form nonpolar ion pairs with sodium bis-(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate (AOT) was the most efficient method for recovering protein. The third aim was to assess the influence of protein properties, such as charge and hydrophobicity, on protein separation. The selective extraction of a target protein from mixtures of proteins in both buffer and fermentation broth was investigated. It appears that the optimum surfactant:protein molar ratio for the extraction of the proteins from fermentation broth (lysozyme, cytochrome c and ribonuclease A; 16, 17 and 22 respectively) were similar to those in a buffer system. Lysozyme and ribonuclease A were selectively separated from a binary mixture. The extraction behaviour was well represented by surface charge distribution which is indifferent to system conditions. However, certain broth constituents induced the formation of some unfolded irreversible non-dissolvable precipitate in the recovery process. Finally, the use of non-ionic surfactants, ionic/non-ionic mixed surfactants, and cationic surfactants were investigated in surfactant precipitation system. Non-ionic surfactant does not support direct precipitation of proteins using surfactant or recovery of protein from a protein-surfactant complex, and has no effect in a mixed ionic/non-ionic system. The application of cationic surfactant precipitation to separate trypsin inhibitor was attempted, and good recovery was obtained.
Supervisor: Stuckey, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral