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Cascade Kinetics in an Enzyme-Loaded Aqueous Two-Phase System

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journal contribution
posted on 06.02.2020 by Marko Pavlovic, Alexander Plucinski, Jianrui Zhang, Markus Antonietti, Lukas Zeininger, Bernhard V. K. J. Schmidt
Macromolecular crowding plays a critical role in the kinetics of enzymatic reactions. Dynamic compartmentalization of biological components in living cells due to liquid–liquid phase separation represents an important cell regulatory mechanism that can increase enzyme concentration locally and influence the diffusion of substrates. In the present study, we probed partitioning of two enzymes (horseradish-peroxidase and urate-oxidase) in a poly­(ethylene glycol)–dextran aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) as a function of salt concentration and ion position in the Hofmeister series. Moreover, we investigated enzymatic cascade reactions and their kinetics within the ATPS, which revealed a strong influence of the ion hydration stemming from the background electrolyte on the partitioning coefficients of proteins following the Hofmeister series. As a result, we were able to realize cross-partitioning of two enzymes because of different protein net charges at a chosen pH. Our study reveals a strong dependency of the enzyme activity on the substrate type and crowding agent interaction on the final kinetics of enzymatic reactions in the ATPS and therefore provides substantial implications en route toward dynamic regulation of reactivity in synthetic protocells.