• The cytotoxicity of fatty acid/α-lactalbumin complexes depends on the amount and type of fatty acid

      Brinkman, Christel Rothe; Brodkorb, Andre; Thiel, Steffen; Kehoe, Joseph James; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 08RDTMFRC650 (Wiley, 17/04/2013)
      Complexes of the milk protein, α-lactalbumin, and the fatty acid, oleic acid, have previously been shown to be cytotoxic. Complexes of α-lactalbumin and five different fatty acids (vaccenic, linoleic, palmitoleic, stearic, and elaidic acid) were prepared and compared to those formed with oleic acid. All complexes were cytotoxic to human promyelocytic leukemia-derived (HL-60) cells but to different degrees depending on the fatty acid. The amount of fatty acid per α-lactalbumin molecule was found to correlate with the cytotoxicity; the higher the number of fatty acids per protein, the more cytotoxic the complex. Importantly, all the tested fatty acids were also found to be cytotoxic on their own in a concentration dependent manner. The cytotoxic effect of complexes between α-lactalbumin and linoleic acid, vaccenic acid, or oleic acid was further investigated using flow cytometry and found to induce cell death resembling apoptosis on Jurkat cells. Practical applications: Cytotoxic complexes of α-lactalbumin and several different fatty acids could be produced. The cytotoxicity of all the variants is similar to that previously determined for α-lactalbumin/oleic acid complexes.