Thermodynamic analysis of lysozyme adsorbed to silica

J Colloid Interface Sci. 2004 Aug 15;276(2):261-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2004.03.056.


The structural stability of hen egg white lysozyme in solution and adsorbed to small colloidal silica particles at various surface concentrations was investigated using hydrogen-deuterium (H/D) exchange in combination with mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The combination of HDX-MS and DSC allows a full thermodynamic analysis of the lysozyme structure as both the enthalpy and the Gibbs free energy can be derived from the various measurements. Moreover, both HDX-MS and DSC provide information on the relative structural heterogeneity of lysozyme in the adsorbed state compared to that in solution. Results demonstrated that at high surface coverage, the structural stability of lysozyme was only marginally affected by adsorption to silica particles whereas the unfolding enthalpy decreased by more than 10%, meaning that the entropy of lysozyme increased with a similar value upon adsorption. Furthermore, the structural heterogeneity increased considerably. At lower surface concentrations, the structural heterogeneity increased further whereas the enthalpy of unfolding decreased. Further analyses of the HDX-MS experiments clearly indicated that folding/unfolding of lysozyme occurs through a two-domain process. These two domains had a similar amount of structural elements and a difference in stabilization energy of 8 kJ/mol, regardless if lysozyme was in solution or adsorbed to silica.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Deuterium
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Muramidase / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*
  • Thermodynamics*


  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Deuterium
  • hen egg lysozyme
  • Muramidase