Micellar solubilization of biopolymers in hydrocarbon solvents. ii. the case of horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase

  • Peter Meier
  • Pier Luigi Luisi


The chemical characterization of horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase solubilized in isooctane via reverse micelles formed by the anionic surfactant di (2-ethyl-hexyl) sodium sulfosuccinate (AOT) and water (0.6 to 4% v/v) is presented. The enzyme’s catalytic activity toward acetaldehyde reduction is markedly dependent upon w0 = [H2O]/[AOT], and upon the pH of the stock aqueous solution (pHst), from which the hydrocarbon enzyme solution is prepared. Kinetically, the micellar solution appears to follow a normal Michaelis-Menten behavior, with a turnover number which, under the optimal conditions (w0 = 42, pHst = 8.8), appears to be higher than in bulk water. The affinity between enzyme and NADH, as judged from direct binding studies (quenching of the protein fluorescence), is much reduced with respect to water if concentrations refer to the water pool of the micelles, and comparable to water if concentrations refer to the overall volume (hydrocarbon plus water pool). Also, the Km values are much higher if concentrations refer to the water pool. Ultraviolet absorption studies show that the aromatic chromophores are not significantly perturbed on going from a water solution to the micellar solution. The essentially aqueous environment of the protein in the reverse micelles is confirmed by fluoresence studies. Circular dichroism studies show that the enzyme’s conformation in the micelles is similar to that in water; however, under certain conditions, small but significant changes of the main chain folding seem to occur, which do not impair enzymatic activity. The spectroscopic properties of NADH in the hydrocarbon phase (fluorescence and circular dichroism) are also investigated. The potential of the LADH-NADH system for technical applications (oxidoreduction of lipophylic substrates) is discussed.


NADH Circular Dichroism Spectrum Reverse Micelle Micellar Solution Water Pool 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Meier
    • 1
  • Pier Luigi Luisi
    • 1
  1. 1.Technisch-Chemisches Laboratorium der ETH-ZurichETH-Zentrum8031-ZiirichSwitzerland

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