The 1H-n.m.r. spectrum of casein micelles consists of a small number of moderately sharp (linewidth approx. 60 Hz) resonances superimposed on the envelope of very broad lines expected for particles of this size. These sharp lines resemble, in chemical shift and relative intensity, the spectrum of the isolated ‘macropeptide’ released from the micelles by treatment with chymosin. The sharp lines in the casein micelle spectrum are further sharpened by addition of chymosin and broadened markedly by addition of ethanol. These observations are consistent with the proposal that the ‘macropeptide’ (the C-terminal 64 residues of K-casein) forms flexible ‘hairs’ on the surface of the micelles.

This content is only available as a PDF.