Free nonimmobilized ligands as a tool for purification of proteins

Guy Patchornik, Amnon Albeck

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    Purification of proteins on a large scale is a complex multistep process, and alternative economic strategies are required. This study presents a novel approach (Affinity Sinking, AS) for purification of native proteins utilizing nonimmobilized modified ligands. The nonimmobilized state of the ligand circumvents the need for immobilizing ligands to polymeric supports. Therefore, purification from large volumes can be accomplished without the use of industrial-scale affinity columns. The mechanism of product capture is formation and precipitation of a specific [target-protein/modified-ligand] complex by using a soluble interconnecting entity that generates an insoluble [target-protein/modified-ligand/ interconnecting entity] sediment containing the target protein. Rabbit IgG and two glycoproteins were purified accordingly, utilizing free avidin (as the interconnecting entity) and either desthiobiotinylated-protein A (DB-ProA) or desthiobiotinylated-concanavalin A (DB-ConA) as the modified ligand. The recovery yields for the IgG and the two glycoproteins were 80-86% and 70-75%, respectively. Target proteins are eluted from the generated pellet nearly without disrupting the [modified-ligand/ interconnecting entity] macro-complex, thus enabling a practical procedure of recovering target proteins. Leaching of the DB-ProA ligand under eluting conditions (pH 3) was found to be lower than 1%. The two modified ligands, DB-ProA and DB-ConA, were regenerated without any chromatographic procedure in 80% and 85%-89% yield, respectively. The advantage of excluding the polymeric component from the purification process and obtaining highly purified proteins has been demonstrated, and it implies that other contaminants (e.g. endotoxins, prions, host DNA) could be excluded as well, thereby reducing the number of purification steps in a typical downstream process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1310-1315
    Number of pages6
    JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 2005


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