Binding of hen egg white lysozyme fibrils with nucleic acids

Sudeshna Ghosh, Nitin K. Pandey, Sambuddha Sen, Debi Ranjan Tripathy, Swagata Dasgupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non proteinaceous substances are found to be associated with toxic protein aggregates commonly known as fibrils. Hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) is able to form fibrillar species under various conditions. Here for the first time we report concentration dependent binding affinities of preformed HEWL fibrils towards DNA and RNA at physiological pH (pH 7.4). We have found that HEWL fibrils bind with DNA and RNA that is distinctly different when compared to native HEWL. The association constant (Ka) of native HEWL and ct-DNA at pH 7.4 is 6.8 × 105 M-1. We have also investigated the conformational alterations of DNA that occur on binding with HEWL fibrils. Our study has demonstrated dominant electrostatic interactions between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes which accounts for the binding of nucleic acids with fibrils. The affinity between the moieties could lead to disruption in the functions of cellular components that might be attributed to the toxicity of the aggregates formed in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibrils
  • Hen egg white lysozyme
  • Interaction
  • Nucleic acids


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