Small-angle X-ray scattering study of protein complexes with tea polyphenols

Ce Shi, Haifeng Tang, Jie Xiao, Fengchao Cui, Kecheng Yang, Ji Li, Qin Zhao, Qingrong Huang, Yunqi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Exploration of the structure of protein complexes, especially the change in conformation and aggregation behavior of proteins upon ligand binding, is crucial to clarify their bioactivities at the molecular level. We applied solution small-angle Xray scattering (SAXS) to study the complex structure of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and trypsin binding with tea polyphenols, that is, catechin and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). We found that tea polyphenols can steadily promote the aggregation of proteins and protein complexes through their bridging effect. The numbers of proteins in the complexes and in the aggregates of complexes are extracted from SAXS intensity profiles, and their dependences as a function of the molar ratio of polyphenol to protein are discussed. EGCG has stronger capability than catechin to promote complex formation and further aggregation, and the aggregates of complexes have a denser core with a relatively smooth surface. The aggregates induced by catechin are loosely packed with a rough surface. BSA shows higher stability than trypsin in the formation of complex with a well-folded conformation. The synergistic unfolding of trypsin results in larger aggregates in the mixtures with more tea polyphenols. The binding affinity and number of tea polyphenols bound to each protein are further determined using fluorescence spectroscopy. The structure of protein complexes explored in this work is referable in the preparation of protein complex-based particles and the understanding of polyphenol-induced formation and further aggregation of protein complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-665
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 25 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Aggregation
  • Conformation
  • Protein
  • Solution small-angle X-ray scattering
  • Tea polyphenol


Dive into the research topics of 'Small-angle X-ray scattering study of protein complexes with tea polyphenols'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this