Rxivist logo

Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 54,968 bioRxiv papers from 253,677 authors.

The deadly touch: protein denaturation at the water-air interface and how to prevent it

By Edoardo D'Imprima, Davide Floris, Mirko Joppe, Ricardo Sánchez, Martin Grininger, Werner Kühlbrandt

Posted 25 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/400432 (published DOI: 10.7554/eLife.42747)

Electron cryo-microscopy analyzes the structure of proteins and protein complexes in vitrified solution. Proteins tend to adsorb to the air-water interface in unsupported films of aqueous solution, which can result in partial or complete denaturation of the protein. We investigated the structure of yeast fatty acid synthase at the air-water interface by electron cryo-tomography and single-particle image processing. Around 90% of complexes adsorbed to the air-water interface are partly denatured. We show that the unfolded regions are those facing the air-water interface. Denaturation by contact with air may happen at any stage of specimen preparation. Denaturation at the air-water interface is completely avoided when the complex is plunge-frozen on a substrate of hydrophilized graphene.

Download data

  • Downloaded 3,068 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 867 out of 54,968
    • In biophysics: 15 out of 2,326
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 822 out of 54,968
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 1,413 out of 54,968

Altmetric data


Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


News