1. The denaturation of ovalbumin by the reagents sodium dodecyl sulphate and guanidinium chloride was investigated, by following the changes in sedimentation velocity, optical rotatory dispersion and viscosity as a function of denaturant concentration. 2. With sodium dodecyl sulphate both the optical-rotatory-dispersion parameters a0 and b0 become more negative, the sedimentation coefficient decreases and the viscosity increases; significant differences in the denaturation profiles are observed. The change in each parameter is indicative of only limited denaturation. 3. With guanidinium chloride the transition occurs over the concentration range 1–4m: more extensive changes occur in all the physical parameters than with sodium dodecyl sulphate. The values of a0 and b0 are indicative of complete denaturation. Reduction by mercaptoethanol produces only minor further changes. 4. Renaturation was attempted from both denaturants, the removal of reagent being accomplished reversibly by controlled slow dialysis. Partial renaturation was observed, but aggregated or insoluble material was produced in both cases at relatively low concentrations of denaturant. Similar behaviour was observed with fully reduced protein in guanidinium chloride–mercaptoethanol; complete renaturation could not be brought about even at very low protein concentrations.

This content is only available as a PDF.