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Structure Determination of Hen Egg-White Lysozyme Aggregates Adsorbed to Lipid/Water and Air/Water Interfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2020, 16:16 authored by S. Strazdaite, E. Navakauskas, J. Kirschner, T. Sneideris, G. Niaura
We use vibrational sum-frequency generation (VSFG) spectroscopy to study the structure of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) aggregates adsorbed to DOPG/D2O and air/D2O interfaces. We find that aggregates with a parallel and antiparallel β-sheet structure together with smaller unordered aggregates and a denaturated protein are adsorbed to both interfaces. We demonstrate that to retrieve this information, fitting of the VSFG spectra is essential. The number of bands contributing to the VSFG spectrum might be misinterpreted, due to interference between peaks with opposite orientation and a nonresonant background. Our study identified hydrophobicity as the main driving force for adsorption to the air/D2O interface. Adsorption to the DOPG/D2O interface is also influenced by hydrophobic interaction; however, electrostatic interaction between the charged protein’s groups and the lipid’s headgroups has the most significant effect on the adsorption. We find that the intensity of the VSFG spectrum at the DOPG/D2O interface is strongly enhanced by varying the pH of the solution. We show that this change is not due to a change of lysozyme’s and its aggregates’ charge but due to dipole reorientation at the DOPG/D2O interface. This finding suggests that extra care must be taken when interpreting the VSFG spectrum of proteins adsorbed at the lipid/water interface.

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