Emulsifying Activities of Purified Alasan Proteins from Acinetobacter radioresistens KA53

Amir Toren, Shiri Navon-Venezia, Eliora Z. Ron, Eugene Rosenberg

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109 Scopus citations


The bioemulsifier of Acinetobacter radioresistens KA53, referred to as alasan, is a high-molecular-weight complex of polysaccharide and protein. The emulsifying activity of the purified polysaccharide (apo-alasan) is very low. Three of the alasan proteins were purified by preparative sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and had apparent molecular masses of 16, 31, and 45 kDa. Emulsification assays using the isolated alasan proteins demonstrated that the active components of the alasan complex are the proteins. The 45-kDa protein had the highest specific emulsifying activity, 11% higher than the intact alasan complex. The 16- and 31-kDa proteins gave relatively low emulsifying activities, but they were significantly higher than that of apo-alasan. The addition of the purified 16-and 31-kDa proteins to the 45-kDa protein resulted in a 1.8-fold increase in the specific emulsifying activity and increased stability of the oil-in-water emulsion. Fast-performance liquid chromatography analysis indicated that the 45-kDa protein forms a dimer in nondenaturing conditions and interacts with the 16- and 31-kDa proteins to form a high-molecular-mass complex. The 45-kDa protein and the three-protein complex had substrate specificities for emulsification and a range of pH activities similar to that of alasan. The fact that the purified proteins are active emulsifiers should simplify structure-function studies and advance our understanding of their biological roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1106
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes


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