Analysis of αB-crystallin polydispersity in solution through native microfluidic electrophoresis†
In recent years, significant advancements have been made in the understanding of the population distributions and dynamic oligomeric states of the molecular chaperone αB-crystallin and its core domain variants. In this work, we provide solution-phase evidence of the polydispersity of αB-crystallin using microfluidic methods, used for separating the oligomeric species present in solution according to their different electrophoretic mobilities on-chip in a matter of seconds. We in particular demonstrate that microfluidic high-field electrophoresis and diffusion can detect the oligomerisation of these highly dynamic molecular chaperones and characterise the dominant oligomeric species present. We thereby provide a robust microfluidic method for characterising the individual species within complex protein mixtures of biological relevance.