Feb 24, 1976

Isolation, chemical, and physical properties of alpha-1-antitrypsin

P Musiani, T B Tomasi


A method of isolation of alpha-1-antitrypsin (alpha-1-AT) in good yield from normal human plasma is described. A key step was affinity chromatography employing an antiserum which had been depleted of alpha-1-AT antibodies. The final preparations were homogeneous by immunological and physicochemical criteria. The specific activity of the purified alpha-1-AT was 0.363 mg of active bovine trypsin inhibited per 1.0 mg of inhibitor. Polyacrylamide gel patterns at both alkaline and acid pH of highly pure preparations frequently, but not invariably, showed multiple hands. Molecular weight studies by sedimentation equilibrium ultracentrifugation in aqueous buffer and in 6 M guanidine as well as sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis suggest that alpha-1-AT is a single polypeptide chain having a molecular weight of 49,500. Other physical and chemical properties of the inhibitor are described. A limited N-terminal sequence (Glu-Asp-Pro-Gln-Gly-Asx-Ala-Ala) was obtained. It was found that alpha-1-AT easily forms polymers and higher aggregates when exposed to denaturing agents such as 8 M urea and 6 M guanidine. The results suggest that aggregation is determined by both covalent and noncovalent forces.

Mentioned in this Paper

Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
Protein Denaturation
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Chromatography, Affinity

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