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Article

A Proteomic Approach to Identify Zein Proteins upon Eco-Friendly Ultrasound-Based Extraction

1
Faculty of Chemistry, Al. I. Cuza University of Iasi, 11, Carol I Boulevard, 700506 Iasi, Romania
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Department of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, 8 Clarkson Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
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Petru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, 41A Gr. Ghica Voda Alley, 700487 Iasi, Romania
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Center for Fundamental Research and Experimental Development in Translation Medicine–TRANSCEND, Regional Institute of Oncology, 700483 Iasi, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir N. Uversky
Biomolecules 2021, 11(12), 1838; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11121838
Received: 12 November 2021 / Revised: 2 December 2021 / Accepted: 4 December 2021 / Published: 6 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Biomacromolecules: Proteins)
Zein is a type of prolamin storage protein that has a variety of biomedical and industrial applications. Due to the considerable genetic variability and polyploidity of the starting material, as well as the extraction methods used, the characterization of the protein composition of zein requires a combination of different analytical processes. Therefore, we combined modern analytical methods such as mass spectrometry (MS), Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), atomic force microscopy (AFM), or Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy–attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) for a better characterization of the extracted zein. In this study, we present an enhanced eco-friendly extraction method, including grinding and sieving corn seeds, for prolamins proteins using an ultrasonic extraction methodology. The use of an ultrasonic homogenizer, 65% ethanol extraction buffer, and 710 µm maize granulation yielded the highest protein extraction from all experimental conditions we employed. An SDS PAGE analysis of the extracted zein protein mainly revealed two intense bands of approximatively 20 and 23 kDa, suggesting that the extracted zein was mostly α-zein monomer. Additionally, MS analysis revealed as a main component the α-zein PMS2 (Uniprot accession no. P24450) type protein in the maize flour extract. Moreover, AFM studies show that extracting zein with a 65% ethanol and a 710 µm granulation yields a homogeneous content that could allow these proteins to be employed in future medical applications. This research leads to a better understanding of zeins content critical for developing new applications of zein in food and pharmaceutical industries, such as biocompatible medical vehicles based on polyplexes complex nanoparticles of zein with antimicrobial or drug delivery properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: zein; ultrasound extraction; electrophoresis; mass spectrometry; atomic force microscopy zein; ultrasound extraction; electrophoresis; mass spectrometry; atomic force microscopy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Darie-Ion, L.; Jayathirtha, M.; Hitruc, G.E.; Zaharia, M.-M.; Gradinaru, R.V.; Darie, C.C.; Pui, A.; Petre, B.A. A Proteomic Approach to Identify Zein Proteins upon Eco-Friendly Ultrasound-Based Extraction. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 1838. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11121838

AMA Style

Darie-Ion L, Jayathirtha M, Hitruc GE, Zaharia M-M, Gradinaru RV, Darie CC, Pui A, Petre BA. A Proteomic Approach to Identify Zein Proteins upon Eco-Friendly Ultrasound-Based Extraction. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(12):1838. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11121838

Chicago/Turabian Style

Darie-Ion, Laura, Madhuri Jayathirtha, Gabriela E. Hitruc, Marius-Mihai Zaharia, Robert V. Gradinaru, Costel C. Darie, Aurel Pui, and Brindusa A. Petre. 2021. "A Proteomic Approach to Identify Zein Proteins upon Eco-Friendly Ultrasound-Based Extraction" Biomolecules 11, no. 12: 1838. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11121838

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