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Title: Phase separation in solutions with specific and nonspecific interactions

Protein solutions, which tend to be thermodynamically stable under physiological conditions, can demix into protein-enriched and protein-depleted phases when stressed. Using a lattice-gas model of proteins with both isotropic and specific, directional interactions, we calculate the critical conditions for phase separation for model proteins with up to four patches via Monte Carlo simulations and statistical associating fluid theory. Given a fixed specific interaction strength, the critical value of the isotropic energy, which accounts for dispersion forces and nonspecific interactions, measures the stability of the solution with respect to nonspecific interactions. Phase separation is suppressed by the formation of protein complexes, which effectively passivate the strongly associating sites on the monomers. Nevertheless, we find that protein models with three or more patches can form extended aggregates that phase separate despite the assembly of passivated complexes, even in the absence of nonspecific interactions. We present a unified view of the critical behavior of model fluids with anisotropic interactions, and we discuss the implications of these results for the thermodynamic stability of protein solutions.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW (United Kingdom)
  2. Pomona College, 550 North College Avenue, Claremont, California 91711 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22304329
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 20; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; INTERACTIONS; MONOMERS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PROTEINS; SOLUTIONS; STABILITY; STRESSES