Changes Occurring on the Activity of Salivary Alpha-Amylase Proteoforms in Two Naturalistic Situations Using a Spectrophotometric Assay

Biology (Basel). 2021 Mar 16;10(3):227. doi: 10.3390/biology10030227.


This study aimed to evaluate the changes in the activity of total salivary alpha-amylase (TsAA) and both the non-glycosylated and glycosylated salivary alpha-amylase proteoforms (NGsAA and GsAA, respectively) in physical and psychological stress models, estimated using a simple and easily set-up method. The method used was a spectrophotometric assay with 2-chloro-4-nitrophenyl-α-D-maltotriose (CNPG3) as a substrate, incubated with Concanavalin A (ConA) to remove most of the glycosylated protein from the sample. This method allowed the measurement of TsAA and estimation of NGsAA and GsAA activities with imprecision lower than 10%. When this method was applied to two different stress models, differences in the responses of the proteoforms were observed, with the NGsAA activity showing changes of higher magnitude after stress induction than the GsAA activity, and the highest correlation with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). In conclusion, the activity of the two main sAA proteoforms can be easily estimated in saliva, and their measurement can provide additional information on TsAA activity in physical or psychological stress situations.

Keywords: glycoprotein depletion; physical effort; proteoforms; psychological challenge; salivary alpha-amylase.