pH-induced structural changes of apo-lactoferrin and implications for its function: a molecular dynamics simulation study

Nhan, C, Small, D, May, B and Hung, A 2018, 'pH-induced structural changes of apo-lactoferrin and implications for its function: a molecular dynamics simulation study', Molecular Simulation, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 87-103.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title pH-induced structural changes of apo-lactoferrin and implications for its function: a molecular dynamics simulation study
Author(s) Nhan, C
Small, D
May, B
Hung, A
Year 2018
Journal name Molecular Simulation
Volume number 45
Issue number 2
Start page 87
End page 103
Total pages 17
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Abstract The minor protein in milk, lactoferrin (Lf), is known for a variety of biological functions, and has been investigated as a protective encapsulant for probiotic bacteria in health-promoting food products. Lf is likely to be exposed to extreme pH conditions which are known to have disruptive influences on its functionality. The molecular mechanisms underlying these pH-dependent changes are not well-understood. To explore the potential of Lf as an encapsulant, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were applied to study its conformational changes under extreme acidic (pH 1.0) or basic (pH 14.0) conditions, relative to neutral pH. Simulations indicate that the structure of apo-Lf is relatively stable at neutral pH, while acidic and basic pH result in substantially greater flexibility, partly induced by the loss of contacts between the N- and C-terminal lobes, causing them to undergo extensive relative bending and twisting motions. Basic pH causes greater structural disruption compared to acidic exposure. The latter has greater influence on the N-terminus, with increased fluctuations and disruptions of inter-residue contacts compared to those at neutral pH; while basic pH was found to more prominently disrupt contacts at the C-terminus. These results help elucidate possible functional consequences on Lf of exposure to extreme pH conditions.
Subject Biomolecular Modelling and Design
Food Sciences not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Lactoferrin
pH stability
milk proteins
molecular dynamics
probiotics
DOI - identifier 10.1080/08927022.2018.1535178
Copyright notice © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN 0892-7022
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