Pulsed Dipolar Spectroscopy (PDS) methods of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) were used to detect and characterize reversible non-covalent dimers of Human Serum Albumin (HSA), the most abundant protein in human plasma. The spin labels, MTSL and OX063, were attached to Cys-34 and these chemical modifications of Cys-34 did affect the dimerization of HSA, indicating that other post-translational modifications can modulate dimer formation. At physiologically relevant concentrations, HSA does form weak, non-covalent dimers with a well-defined structure. Dimer formation is readily reversible into monomers. Dimerization is very relevant to the role of HSA in the transport, binding, and other physiological processes.
- human serum albumin
- pulse dipole EPR