• The Formation of an Anti-Cancer Complex Under Simulated Gastric Conditions

      Sullivan, Louise M.; Mok, K.Hun; Brodkorb, Andre (Springer-Verlag, 2013-05-01)
      A potent anti-cancer complex has previously been formed from two major components of milk. Human/bovine α-lactalbumin made lethal to tumour cells (H/BAMLET) is a protein–fatty acid complex that has been produced using the whey protein α-lactalbumin (α-LA) and the fatty acid oleic acid (OA). It was shown that it possesses selective anti-tumour and anti-microbial activity, which was first identified in acidic fractions of human breast milk. The aim of this study was to determine whether the two components would form a bioactive complex during simulated gastric (GI) transit. Results showed that a complex consisting of α-LA and OA is formed as the protein unfolds under acidic conditions and subsequently refolds upon pH increase. Analysis of this complex using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopies estimated a stoichiometry of 4.1 and 4.4 oleic acids per mole of protein, respectively. FTIR and fluorescence spectroscopies showed that the structure was similar to that of BAMLET. Cytotoxicity testing against cancer cell line U937 cells showed that the complex had an LC50 value of 14.08 μM compared to 9.15 μM for BAMLET. These findings suggest that a BAMLET-like complex may be formed under the tested in vitro GI conditions.
    • Interactions between sodium oleate and α-lactalbumin: the effect of temperature and concentration on complex formation

      Kehoe, Joseph James; Brodkorb, Andre (Elsevier, 2012-09-26)
      Complexes of α-lactalbumin and oleic acid have previously been shown to be cytotoxic to cancer cells. In this study oleic acid is replaced by the more soluble sodium oleate and complexes of α-lactalbumin and sodium oleate are formed. Dynamic light scattering results showed that there was a small linear increase in the particle size of α-lactalbumin when it was titrated with sodium oleate. The fluorescence spectra of α-lactalbumin showed a linear increase in the emission maximum when sodium oleate was added up to a molar ratio of 8–11 oleate molecules per α-lactalbumin. Differential scanning calorimetry results show that the thermal unfolding of α-lactalbumin is altered by the presence of the sodium oleate. There is a decrease in size of the endothermic peak of apo α-lactalbumin when sodium oleate is added. The temperature at which unfolding occurred decreased for both apo and holo α-lactalbumin. FTIR measurements showed no significant effect of sodium oleate in the amide I region of the α-lactalbumin spectrum indicating the presence of oleate has little or no effect on the secondary structure of α-lactalbumin. The interactions between α-lactalbumin and sodium oleate/oleic acid are pH dependent, turbidity and dynamic light scattering measurements showed that the association between the two was optimal between pH 6.0 and 8.0. The results obtained here suggest that α-lactalbumin can bind at least a 20 fold molar excess of oleate, most likely in a non-specific manner.
    • Stabilising effect of α-lactalbumin on concentrated infant milk formula emulsions heat treated pre- or post-homogenisation

      Buggy, Aoife K.; McManus, Jenifer J.; Brodkorb, Andre; McCarthy, Noel; Fenelon, Mark A. (Springer, 2016-11-22)
      Protein type and/or heat treatment pre- or post-homogenisation can affect the physical stability of infant formulations during manufacture. Previous research has described the use of α-lactalbumin addition in infant formulae, but has not demonstrated the effect of heating pre- or post-emulsion formulation during processing. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of both of these parameters. Three batches of model 1st-stage infant formula containing differing whey protein ratios (60:40 whey: casein with α-lactalbumin content 12, 30 or 48% of total protein) were prepared. Each batch was split; one half receiving heat treatment pre-homogenisation and the second half homogenised and then heat treated. Emulsion stability was determined by size exclusion chromatography, SDS-PAGE, particle size and viscosity measurements. There was a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the formation of large soluble aggregates upon increasing α-lac concentration in emulsions heat treated either before or after homogenisation. Heat treatment of formulations post-homogenisation resulted in a higher (P < 0.05) D.v09 within the particle size distribution; increasing α-lactalbumin concentration to 30 or 48% significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the D.v09 within the particle size distribution in these emulsions. The viscosity of concentrates (55 % total solids) containing the 12% α-lactalbumin, heat treated post-homogenisation, was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than the equivalent emulsion heat treated pre-homogenisation; increasing the α-lactalbumin concentration to 30 or 48% significantly (P < 0.05) reduced viscosity. When the α-lactalbumin content was increased to 48% as a percentage of the total protein, heating before or after emulsion formation had no effect on concentrate viscosity. The findings demonstrate the importance of thermal denaturation/aggregation of whey proteins (and in particular, the ratio of α-lactalbumin to β-lactoglobulin) prior to homogenisation of infant formula emulsions.
    • Structure and antioxidant activity of Maillard reaction products from α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin with ribose in an aqueous model system

      Jiang, Zhanmei; Brodkorb, Andre (Elsevier, 2012-02-11)
      Maillard reaction products (MRPs) were prepared from aqueous model mixtures containing 3% (w/w) ribose and 3% (w/w) of the dairy proteins α-lactalbumin (α-LA) or β-lactoglobulin (β-LG), heated at 95 °C, for up to 5 h. The pH of MRPs decreased significantly during heat treatment of α-LA-Ribose and β-LG-Ribose mixtures from 8.4 to 5.3. The amino group content in MRPs, derived from the α-LA-Ribose and β-LG-Ribose model system, was decreased noticeably during the first hour and did not change thereafter. The loss of free ribose in MRPs was higher for β-LG-Ribose than for α-LA-Ribose. During the Maillard reaction, the concentration of native and non-native α-LA, or β-LG, decreased and the formation of aggregates was observed. Fluorescence intensity of the β-LG-Ribose MRPs reached maximum within 1 h, compared to 2 h for α-LA-Ribose MRPs. Meanwhile, modification of the UV/vis absorption spectra for α-LA and β-LG was mainly due to a condensation reaction with ribose. Dynamic light scattering showed a significant increase in the particle size of the MRPs. Size exclusion chromatography of MRPs revealed the production of both high and low molecular weight material. Electrophoresis of MRPs indicated polymerization of α-LA and β-LG monomers via inter-molecular disulfide bridge, but also via other covelant bonds. MRPs from α-LA-Ribose and β-LG-Ribose exhibited increased antioxidant activities, therefore theses MRPs may be used as natural antioxidants in food products.