The action of non-detergent sulphobetaines (NDSBs) as new mild agents for protein purification is described. The solubilization effects of non-detergent sulphobetaines are shown in different examples; all obtained under non-denaturing conditions: (1) microsomal proteins extraction; (2) recovery after dialysis of nuclear proteins; (3) reduction of precipitation in isoelectric focusing experiments under non-denaturing conditions; and (4) purification of a membrane-bound serine protease from Plasmodium falciparum involved in erythrocyte invasion by malaria merozoites. The absence of a significant denaturation effect induced by NDSBs is demonstrated by tests on beta-galactosidase and alkaline phosphatase. A simple NDSB synthesis and some possible explanations of the action of NDSBs are also presented.

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