Effects of gamma-irradiation on the electrokinetic properties of purple membranes

Virjinia Doltchinkova, Svetla Stoilova, Maria Baldjiiska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of gamma-irradiation (5, 10 and 15 Gy) on the kinetic surface charge of purple membranes (PM) was followed by means of particle microelectrophoresis. The changes in electrophoretic mobility (EPM) were examined at 2, 5 and 26 h, respectively, following irradiation of native PM, and at 2, 26, 50 h and 5 days following irradiation of delipidated PM. It was concluded that the high inhomogeneity of the suspension, even after sonication, largely affects the measured zeta-potential. The 15-Gy treatment significantly increased the net negative surface charge density at 5 and 26 h after irradiation of native PM. However, the opposite effect of approximately twofold reduction of EPM values was derived from simultaneous studies concerning their delipidated form. Low irradiation doses clearly induced an enhancement of negative surface charge density at 2 h post-exposure as well as the formation of unstable structures of delipidated PM. The changes in electrokinetic properties might reflect the specific aggregate formation in both native and delipidated PM. It was suggested that the effect observed of both types of PM was mainly a structural phenomenon possibly related to the modification of functionally active residues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation and Environmental Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • General Environmental Science


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