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Keywords:

  • storage protein;
  • hydrostatic pressure;
  • protein solution structure;
  • spectroscopy;
  • temperature

The structure of the wheat γ46 gliadin was investigated, in aqueous solutions, under high pressure or temperature by the use of ultraviolet and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques. We found that high pressure (above 400 MPa) induces a change in the protein conformation that results in a decrease of the polarity of the environment of aromatic amino acids. This new conformation was able to bind the hydrophobic probe, 8-anilino-1-naphtalene-sulfonic acid (ANS), indicating an increase in the gliadin surface hydrophobicity. Thermodynamic parameters of this conformational change were measured and infrared spectroscopy studies were used to probe the potential secondary structure modifications. The high stability of γ46 gliadin could be related to its elastic character, as the observed changes were always found to be reversible.