Comparison of antimicrobial peptide purification via free‐flow electrophoresis and gel filtration chromatography

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Sep 6, 2017
  • Author: Zhi‐Jun Xia, Zhen Liu, Fan‐Zhi Kong, Liu‐Yin Fan, Hua Xiao, Cheng‐Xi Cao


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are usually small and cationic biomolecules with broad‐spectrum antimicrobial activities against pathogens. Purifying them from complex samples is essential to study their physiochemical properties. In this work, free‐flow zone electrophoresis (FFZE) was utilized to purify AMPs from yeast fermentation broth. Meanwhile, gel filtration chromatography (GFC) was conducted for comparison. The separation efficiency was evaluated by SDS‐PAGE analysis of the fractions from both methods. Our results demonstrated as follows: (i) FFZE had more than 30‐fold higher processing capacity as compared with GFC; (ii) FFZE could achieve 87% purity and 89% recovery rate while in GFC these parameters were about 93 and 82%, respectively; (iii) the former had ∼2‐fold dilution but the latter had ∼13‐fold dilution. Furthermore, Tricine‐SDS‐PAGE, Native‐PAGE, and gel IEF were carried out to characterize the purified AMPs. We found that two peptides existed as a pair with the molecular mass of ∼5.5 and 7.0 kDa, while the same pI 7.8. These two peptides were proved to have the antimicrobial activity through the standardized agar diffusion method. Therefore, FFZE could be used to continuously purify AMPs with high bioactivity, which will lead to its wide application in the clinical and pharmaceutical fields.

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