Soy Glycenin: Influence of pH and Ionic Strength on Solubility and Molecular Structure at Ambient Temperatures

C.M.M. Lakemond, H.H.J. de Jongh, M. Hessing, H. Gruppen, A.G.J. Voragen

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142 Citations (Scopus)


This study describes the relationship between the solubility of glycinin, a major soy protein, and its structural properties at a quaternary, tertiary, and secondary folding level under conditions representative for food products. When the ionic strength is lowered from 0.5 to 0.2 or 0.03, the basic polypeptides shift more to the exterior of the glycinin complex, as determined at pH 7.6 by labeling solvent-exposed lysines, supported by the study of the proteolytic action of clostripain on glycinin. This structural reorganization caused the pH of minimal solubility to shift to higher values. Ultracentrifugational analysis shows that at pH 7.6 and an ionic strength of 0.5 glycinin forms hexameric complexes (11S), whereas at pH 3.8 and at an ionic strength of 0.03 glycinin exists as trimers (7S). Intermediate situations are obtained by modulation of pH and ionic strength. The observed quaternary dissociation correlates with an increased amount of nonstructured protein at a secondary level and with changes in tertiary folding as determined using circular dichroism. Tryptophan fluorescence shows no significant structural changes for different ionic strengths but demonstrates a more tightly packed fluorophore environment when the pH is lowered from 7.6 to 3.8.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1985-1990
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • soybean seeds
  • functional-properties
  • circular-dichroism
  • beta-conglycinin
  • gene
  • identification
  • subunits
  • proteins
  • globulin
  • purification

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