TCA precipitation of proteins

Martin Offterdinger a8803349.nospam at
Thu Dec 17 09:17:21 EST 1998

On Wed, 16 Dec 1998 21:04:19 GMT, "Andrew Pridmore"
<ampridmore at> wrote:

>Can anyone help with these apparently simple questions, as I cannot find the
>answers in textbooks.
>When precipitating proteins with TCA, what does the TCA actually do to the
>protein structure? In particular I need to know:
>1 - The effect on conformation / folding
It is certainly denaturing to any protein, the pH is 0 (or less)
>2 - The effect on bonds within the polypeptides
The bonds within the peptide should remain intact, as you can
electrophorese neutralized TCA-precipitates and should get the same
size distribution as usual.
>3 - The effect on electrical charge.
Should be highly positive as the pH is very very low and every
aminogroup should be fully protonated.
>TCA precipitation is a standard technique, but this basic information does
>not seem to be readily available. References for further reading would be
>much appreciated.
>Thanks in advance,
>Andrew Pridmore

Martin Offterdinger
Internal Med.I,Dept. Oncology
University of Vienna
E-Mail:a8803349.nospam at
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