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Diffusion and Partitioning of Macromolecules in Casein Microgels: Evidence for Size-Dependent Attractive Interactions in a Dense Protein System

Abstract : Understanding the mechanisms that determine the diffusion and interaction of macromolecules (such as proteins and polysaccharides) that disperse through dense media is an important fundamental issue in the development of innovative technological and medical applications. In the current work, the partitioning and diffusion of macromolecules of different sizes (from 4 to 10 nm in diameter) and shapes (linear or spherical) within dispersions of casein micelles (a protein microgel) is studied. The coefficients for diffusion and partition are measured using FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) and analyzed with respect to the structural characteristics of the microgel determined by the use of TEM (transmission electron microscopy) tomography. The results show that the casein microgel displays a nonspecific attractive interaction for all macromolecules studied. When the macromolecular probes are spherical, this affinity is clearly size-dependent, with stronger attraction for the larger probes. The current data show that electrostatic effects cannot account for such an attraction. Rather, nonspecific hydration molecular forces appear to explain these results. These findings show how weak nonspecific forces affect the diffusion and partitioning of proteins and polysaccharides in a dense protein environment. These results could be useful to better understand the mechanisms of diffusion and partitioning in other media such as cells and tissues. Furthermore, there arises the possibility of using the casein micelle as a size-selective molecular device.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01116503
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 13, 2015 - 3:23:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 4:41:22 PM

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Paulo D. S. Peixoto, Antoine Bouchoux, Sébastien Huet, Marie-Noëlle Madec, Daniel Thomas, et al.. Diffusion and Partitioning of Macromolecules in Casein Microgels: Evidence for Size-Dependent Attractive Interactions in a Dense Protein System. Langmuir, American Chemical Society, 2015, 31 (5), pp.1755-1765. ⟨10.1021/la503657u⟩. ⟨hal-01116503⟩

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