Rate enhancement of the oxidative folding of lysozyme by the use of aromatic thiol containing redox buffers

Bioorg Med Chem. 2008 Mar 1;16(5):2579-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2007.11.047. Epub 2007 Nov 22.


Almost all therapeutic proteins and most extracellular proteins contain disulfide bonds. The production of these proteins in bacteria or in vitro is challenging due to the need to form the correctly matched disulfide bonds during folding. One important parameter for efficient in vitro folding is the composition of the redox buffer, a mixture of a small molecule thiol and small molecule disulfide. The effects of different redox buffers on protein folding, however, have received limited attention. The oxidative folding of denatured reduced lysozyme was followed in the presence of redox buffers containing varying concentrations of five different aromatic thiols or the traditional aliphatic thiol glutathione (GSH). Aromatic thiols eliminated the lag phase at low disulfide concentrations, increased the folding rate constant up to 11-fold, and improved the yield of active protein relative to GSH. The yield of active protein was similar for four of the five aromatic thiols and for glutathione at pH 7 as well as for glutathione at pH 8.2. At pH 6 the positively charged aromatic thiol provided a higher yield than the negatively charged thiols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Buffers
  • Chickens
  • Disulfides / chemistry
  • Glutathione / chemistry
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Muramidase / chemistry*
  • Muramidase / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Protein Folding*
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry*


  • Buffers
  • Disulfides
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Muramidase
  • Glutathione