High-Throughput Screening of Dye-Ligands for Chromatography (on dehydrogenases from Aspergillus nidulans)

Dye-ligand-based chromatography has become popular after Cibacron Blue, the first reactive textile dye, found application for protein purification. Many other textile dyes have since been successfully used to purify a number of proteins and enzymes. While the exact nature of their interaction with target proteins is often unclear, dye-ligands are thought to mimic the structural features of their corresponding substrates, cofactors, etc. The dye-ligand affinity matrices are therefore considered pseudo-affinity matrices. In addition, dye-ligands may simply bind with proteins due to electrostatic, hydrophobic, and hydrogen-bonding interactions. Because of their low cost, ready availability, and structural stability, dye-ligand affinity matrices have gained much popularity. Choice of a large number of dye structures offers a range of matrices to be prepared and tested. When presented in the high-throughput screening mode, these dye-ligand matrices provide a formidable tool for protein purification. One could pick from the list of dye-ligands already available or build a systematic library of such structures for use. A high-throughput screen may be set up to choose best dye-ligand matrix as well as ideal conditions for binding and elution, for a given protein. The mode of operation could be either manual or automated. The technology is available to test the performance of dye-ligand matrices in small volumes in an automated liquid-handling workstation. Screening a systematic library of dye-ligand structures can help establish a structure–activity relationship. While the origins of dye-ligand chromatography lay in exploiting pseudo-affinity, it is now possible to design very specific biomimetic dye structures. High-throughput screening will be of value in this endeavor as well. NB The examples proteins described in this protocol include three different dehydrogenases from Aspergillus nidulans.

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