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Unfolded Lipase at Interfaces Studied via Interfacial Dilational Rheology: The Impact of Urea

Dowlati, Saeid; Javadi, Aliyar; Miller, Reinhard; Eckert, Kerstin; Kraume, Matthias

Unfolding can interrupt the activity of enzymes. Lipase, the enzyme responsible for triglyceride catalysis, can be deactivated by unfolding, which can significantly affect the yield of enzymatic processes in biochemical engineering. Different agents can induce lipase unfolding, among which we study the impact of urea as a strong denaturant. Unfolding weakens the rigidity and stability of globular proteins, thereby changing the viscoelastic properties of the protein adsorbed layers. These changes can be detected and quantified using interfacial dilational rheology. The urea-induced unfolding of lipase destructs its globular structure, making it more flexible. The interfacial tension and viscoelastic moduli of lipase adsorbed layers reduce upon the addition of urea in the range of studied concentrations. The results agree with the theory that, upon unfolding, a distal region of the loop and tail domain forms adjacent to the proximal region of the interface. The exchange of matter between these regions reduces the viscoelasticity of the unfolded lipase adsorbed layers. Additionally, unfolding reduces the rigidity and brittleness of the lipase adsorbed layers: the aged adsorbed layer of native lipase can break upon high-amplitude perturbations of the interfacial area, unlike the case for urea-induced unfolded lipase.
Published in: Colloids and Interfaces, 10.3390/colloids6040056, MDPI