Chaotropic Agent?

Rich Dudley rdudley+ at
Fri Feb 26 08:38:35 EST 1999

Louis Hom wrote:

> In article <36D5CE5D.915AA102 at>,
> John Scott Meschke  <jmeschke at> wrote:
> >
> >Would ammonium sulfate be considered a chaotrope?  If so weak or
> >strong?  Does anyone know of a good reference on chaotropic agents?  Any
> >help would be greatly appreciated.
>         Actually, ammonium sulfate would probably best be described as a
> counter-example to chaotropic agents;  it has a stabilizing effect on
> proteins (which is one reason why it's popular as a precipitant in
> purification schemes).  I've forgotten the name of the series, but someone
> arranged various compounds into stabilizing compounds (e.g., ammonium
> sulfate) at one end and denaturants (e.g., urea, guanidium) at the
> other end.  I also, unfortunately, can't remember where I saw it.
> --
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Lou Hom >K'93
> lhom at

I believe the series is chaotropic --> lyotropic.  A post-doc I know did a Medline
search and found a wealth of information about chaotropy.  Try PubMed at for more info.


--- --- --- -- -- -- --- --- ---
Richard J. Dudley (rdudley+ at
Research Specialist V
Dept. of Cell Biology and Physiology
University of Pittsburgh
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