Heat-induced denaturation and aggregation of ovalbumin at neutral pH described by irreversible first-order kinetics

M. Weijers, P.A. Barneveld, M.A. Cohen Stuart, R.W. Visschers

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95 Citations (Scopus)


The heat-induced denaturation kinetics of two different sources of ovalbumin at pH 7 was studied by chromatography and differential scanning calorimetry. The kinetics was found to be independent of protein concentration and salt concentration, but was strongly dependent on temperature. For highly pure ovalbumin, the decrease in nondenatured native protein showed first-order dependence. The activation energy obtained with different techniques varied between 430 and 490 kJ.mole(-1). First-order behavior was studied in detail using differential scanning calorimetry. The calorimetric traces were irreversible and highly scan rate-dependent. The shape of the thermograms as well as the scan rate dependence can be explained by assuming that the thermal denaturation takes place according to a simplified kinetic process N -->(k) D where N is the native state, D is denatured (or another final state) and k a first-order kinetic constant that changes with temperature, according to the Arrhenius equation. A kinetic model for the temperature-induced denaturation and aggregation of ovalbumin is presented. Commercially obtained ovalbumin was found to contain an intermediate- stable fraction (IS) of about 20% that was unable to form aggregates. The denaturation of this fraction did not satisfy first-order kinetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2693-2703
JournalProtein Science
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • differential scanning calorimetry
  • protein denaturation
  • beta-lactoglobulin
  • thermal-denaturation
  • globular-proteins
  • light-scattering
  • disulfide bonds
  • dsc data
  • gelation
  • gels

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