Baroresistant buffer mixtures for biochemical analyses
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Hydrostatic pressure is a useful tool in the study of varied fields such as protein aggregation, association, folding, ligand binding, and allostery. Application of pressure can have a significant effect on the pK(a) values of buffers commonly used for biochemical analysis. Consequently, cationic buffers, rather than neutral ones, are generally used to minimize pH effects; however, even with these buffers, the change in pH over 3 kbar may be consequential in highly pH-sensitive biochemical systems. Using fluorescence-based assays, we have systematically examined the effects of pressure on various buffers in the neutral pH range. We show that many commonly used cationic and Good's buffers increase in pH with pressure on the order of 0.1 to 0.3 pH units/kbar, in agreement with other published values. Carboxylates and phosphate decrease in pH to a similar extent. Buffer mixtures, composed of both cationic and carboxylate or phosphate components, are shown to be an order of magnitude less pressure sensitive than the individual component buffers. Using various relative concentrations of Tris and either phosphate, tricarballylate (1,2,3-propanetricarboxylate), or CDA (1,1-cyclohexane diacetate) at pH values between 7 and 8 yields baroresistant buffer mixtures. Buffer mixtures can be optimized for a specific pH, and a list of mixtures is presented for general laboratory use.
author list (cited authors)
Quinlan, R. J., & Reinhart, G. D.