Effect of PEG end-group hydrophobicity on lysozyme interactions in solution characterized by light scattering

M. Hamsa Priya, L. R. Pratt, M. E. Paulaitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compare protein-protein and protein-polymer osmotic virial coefficients measured by static light scattering for aqueous solutions of lysozyme with low-molecular-weight, hydroxy-terminated (hPEG) and methyl-terminated (mPEG) poly(ethylene glycol) at two solution conditions: pH 7.0 and 0.01 M ionic strength, and pH 6.2 and 0.8 M ionic strength. We find that adding PEG to aqueous lysozyme solutions makes a net repulsive contribution to lysozyme-lysozyme interactions, independent of ionic strength and PEG end-group hydrophobicity. PEG end-group hydrophobicity has a profound effect on the magnitude of this contribution, however, at low ionic strength where mPEG-lysozyme attractive interactions become significant. The enhanced attractions promote mPEG-lysozyme preferential interactions at the expense of lysozyme self-interactions, which leads to lysozyme-lysozyme interactions that are more repulsive in the presence of mPEG. These preferential interactions also lead to the preferential exclusion of diffusable ions locally around the protein, which results in a pronounced ionic strength dependence of mPEG-mediated lysozyme-lysozyme interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13713-13718
Number of pages6
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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