Detergent Desorption of Membrane Proteins Exhibits Two Kinetic Phases

Aaron J. Wolfe, Jack F. Gugel, Min Chen, Liviu Movileanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Gradual dissociation of detergent molecules from water-insoluble membrane proteins culminates in protein aggregation. However, the time-dependent trajectory of this process remains ambiguous because the signal-to-noise ratio of most spectroscopic and calorimetric techniques is drastically declined by the presence of protein aggregates in solution. We show that by using steady-state fluorescence polarization (FP) spectroscopy the dissociation of the protein-detergent complex (PDC) can be inspected in real time at detergent concentrations below the critical micelle concentration. This article provides experimental evidence of the coexistence of two distinct phases of the dissociations of detergent monomers from membrane proteins. We first noted a slow detergent predesolvation process, which was accompanied by a relatively modest change in the FP anisotropy, suggesting a small number of dissociated detergent monomers from the proteomicelles. This predesolvation phase was followed by a fast detergent desolvation process, which was highlighted by a major alteration in the FP anisotropy. The durations and rates of these phases were dependent on both the detergent concentration and the interfacial PDC interactions. Further development of this approach might lead to the creation of a new semiquantitative method for the assessment of the kinetics of association and dissociation of proteomicelles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1913-1919
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 19 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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