Isolation, identification and characterisation of starch-interacting proteins by 2-D affinity electrophoresis

Behjat Kosar-Hashemi, Jennifer A. Irwin, Jody Higgins, Sadequr Rahman, Matthew K. Morell

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A 2-D affinity electrophoretic technique (2-DAE) has been used to isolate proteins that interact with various starch components from total barley endosperm extracts. In the first dimension, proteins are separated by native PAGE. The second-dimensional gel contains polysaccharides such as amylopectin and glycogen. The migration of starch-interacting proteins in this dimension is determined by their affinity towards a particular polysaccharide and these proteins are therefore spatially separated from the bulk of proteins in the crude extract. Four distinct proteins demonstrate significant affinity for amylopectin and have been identified as starch branching enzyme I (SBEI), starch branching enzyme IIa (SBEIIa), SBEIIb and starch phosphorylase using polyclonal antibodies and zymogram activity analysis. In the case of starch phosphorylase, a protein spot was excised from a 2-DAE polyacrylamide gel and analysed using Q-TOF MS/MS, resulting in the alignment of three internal peptide sequences with the known sequence of the wheat plastidic starch phosphorylase isoform. This assignment was confirmed by the determination of the enzyme's function using zymogram analysis. Dissociation constants (Kd)were calculated for the three enzymes at 40°C and values of 0.20, 0.21 and 1.3 g/L were determined for SBEI, SBEIIa and starch phosphorylase, respectively. Starch synthase I could also be resolved from the other proteins in the presence of glycogen and its identity was confirmed using a polyclonal antibody and by activity analysis. The 2-DAE method described here is simple, though powerful, enabling protein separation from crude extracts on the basis of function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1832-1839
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Affinity electrophoresis
  • Barley
  • Cereal starch
  • Dissociation constant

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