Dicarboxylic acid anhydrides as dissociating agents of protein-containing structures.


Journal Article (Review)

Dissociation of protein-containing structures by modification of protein amino groups with dicarboxylic acid anhydrides is a mild procedure which, in some cases, offers advantages over treatment with alternative dissociating agents, such as urea, guanidine hydrochloride, detergents, high ionic strength, and extremes of pH. In addition to dissociating multimeric proteins and protein aggregates, dicarboxylic acid anhydrides are effective dissociating agents for membrane-bound proteins and nucleoprotein particles. With most dicarboxylic acid anhydrides reviewed, the introduced reagent residues can be eliminated under moderate acid conditions, which allows the purification of unmodified individual components, and the use of diassembly-reconstitution systems valuable for investigating the structural and functional roles played by the individual components of complex particles. Each reagent can be suitable for a particular purpose, depending on the required specificity of the modification and stability of the modified groups. The stability of the acylated amino groups ranges from the very stable succinylated amino groups to the very labile acylation obtained with dimethylmaleic anhydride. Between these extremes, the stability of the modified amino groups decreases stepwise in the following order: maleic, exo-cis-3,6-endoxo-delta 4-tetrahydrophthalic, citraconic, and 3,4,5,6-tetrahydrophthalic anhydride. With respect to the selectivity of the produced modification, little or no modification of hydroxyamino acid and cysteine residues has been observed with dimethylmaleic, exo-cis-3,6-endoxo-delta 4-tetrahydrophthalic, and 3,4,5,6-tetrahydrophthalic anhydrides. With the other reagents, the extent of modification of hydroxyamino acid residues increases in the order citraconic, maleic and succinic anhydride. Citraconic and maleic anhydrides can produce irreversible modification of cysteine residues, the reactivity of sulfhydryl groups being higher with maleic anhydride.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Palacián, E; González, PJ; Piñeiro, M; Hernández, F

Published Date

  • September 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 101 - 111

PubMed ID

  • 2280759

Pubmed Central ID

  • 2280759

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-4919

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0300-8177

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/bf00221051


  • eng