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Mass spectrometric characterization of the zein protein composition in maize flour extracts upon protein separation by SDS-PAGE and 2D gel electrophoresis.

Electrophoresis (2019-06-07)
Paula A Postu, Laura Ion, Gabi Drochioiu, Brindusa A Petre, Michael O Glocker
ABSTRACT

Highly homogenous α zein protein was isolated from maize kernels in an environment-friendly process using 95% ethanol as solvent. Due to the polyploidy and genetic polymorphism of the plant source, the application of high resolution separation methods in conjunction with precise analytical methods, such as MALDI-TOF-MS, is required to accurately estimate homogeneity of products that contain natural zein protein. The α zein protein product revealed two main bands in SDS-PAGE analysis, one at 25 kDa and other at 20 kDa apparent molecular mass. Yet, high resolution 2DE revealed approximately five protein spot groups in each row, the first at ca. 25 kDa and the second at ca. 20 kDa. Peptide mass fingerprinting data of the proteins in the two dominant SDS-PAGE bands matched to 30 amino acid sequence entries out of 102 non-redundant data base entries. MALDI-TOF-MS peptide mapping of the proteins from all spots indicated the presence of only α zein proteins. The most prominent ion signals in the MALDI mass spectra of the protein mixture of the 25 kDa SDS gel band after in-gel digestion were found at m/z 1272.6 and m/z 2009.1, and the most prominent ion signals of the protein mixture of the 20 kDa band after in-gel digestion were recorded at m/z 1083.5 and m/z 1691.8. These ion signals have been found typical for α zein proteins and may serve as marker ion signals which upon chymotryptic digestion reliably indicate the presence of α zein protein in two hybrid corn products.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
2,4-Dihydroxybenzophenone, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Zein