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Ion Exchange Chromatography
BCH 332 lecture 11
• Ion exchange chromatography is a form of adsorption chromatography in which charged proteins or other biomolecules are exchanged for small ions of like charge originating in salts (e.g. Na+, Cl−).
• These ions are attached to chemical structures on the surface of the stationary phase called ion exchange groups or ion exchangers.
• Two types of ion exchanger are common in biochemistry;
• Anion exchangers (which exchange negatively charged ions or anions) and
• Cation exchangers (which exchange positively charged ions or cations).
• Some ion exchangers are regarded as weak, that is functioning best over a comparatively narrow pH range, while others are strong, that is functioning over a wider pH range. Exchangers with quaternary amino or sulfonic acid groups behave as strong anion and cationexchangers, respectively, while aromatic/aliphatic amino and carboxylic acid groups are weak anion and cation exchangers, respectively.
• Choice of ion exchange stationary phase is heavily influenced by knowledge of the pI of the protein of interest.
• Desalting is carried out before ion exchange either by gel filtration chromatography , by dialysis or by centrifugal filtration.
• Elution of bound proteins is achieved by reversing the process of binding and, again, exchanging a counterion for protein.
• This is usually carried out by applying a large excess of a salt (e.g. NaCl) containing the counterion in the mobile phase.
• Because proteins have different net charge, they may bind to an ion exchanger at a given pH with a variety of strengths, that is some proteins may bind strongly whilst others bind weakly or not at all.
• We can take advantage of this to separate proteins by applying salt in a continuous gradient. Weakly bound proteins will elute first from such a system while strongly bound proteins elute later.
• Mobile phase Acids, alkalis, buffer.
• Stationary phase The ionic compound consisting of the cationic species (M+) and the anionic species (B-)
• Elution - Components of mixture separate & move down the column at different rates depending upon the affinity of the ion for ion exchanger. The eluates are collected at different stages
• Analysis of the eluate (Spectrophotometric)
Selection of an Ion Exchanger
Selection of an Ion Exchanger
• Below the isoelectric pH the protein has a positive charge and binds to a cation exchanger.
• Above the isoelectric pH the protein has a negative charge and binds to an anion exchanger.
Choice of Buffer
• Cationic buffer should be used with anion exchanger.
• Anionic buffer should be used with cation exchanger.
• The basic process of chromatography using ion exchange can be represented in 4 steps:
2. Sample application and wash
• For extraction of enzymes from tissues.
• Separation of sugars, amino acids and proteins.
• Ion exchange column in HPLC.