MultiSig: a new high-precision approach to the analysis of complex biomolecular systems

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Gillis, Richard B. ; Adams, Gary G. ; Heinze, Thomas ; Nikolajski, Melanie ; Harding, Stephen E. ; Rowe, Arthur J. (2013)
  • Publisher: Springer Verlag
  • Journal: European Biophysics Journal (issn: 0175-7571, vol: 42, pp: 777-786)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3824846, doi: 10.1007/s00249-013-0924-y
  • Subject: Sedimentation equilibrium | Point average molecular weights | Original Paper | Rayleigh interference optics | Biophysics | Fitting algorithm | Spatial filtering | Molecular weight histograms

MultiSig is a newly developed mode of analysis of sedimentation equilibrium (SE) experiments in the analytical ultracentrifuge, having the capability of taking advantage of the remarkable precision (~0.1 % of signal) of the principal optical (fringe) system employed, thus supplanting existing methods of analysis through reducing the ‘noise’ level of certain important parameter estimates by up to orders of magnitude. Long-known limitations of the SE method, arising from lack of knowledge of the true fringe number in fringe optics and from the use of unstable numerical algorithms such as numerical differentiation, have been transcended. An approach to data analysis, akin to ‘spatial filtering’, has been developed, and shown by both simulation and practical application to be a powerful aid to the precision with which near-monodisperse systems can be analysed, potentially yielding information on protein-solvent interaction. For oligo- and poly-disperse systems the information returned includes precise average mass distributions over both cell radial and concentration ranges and mass-frequency histograms at fixed radial positions. The application of MultiSig analysis to various complex heterogenous systems and potentially multiply-interacting carbohydrate oligomers is described.
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