A Survey of Gasoline Ameliorator, Methyl-Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) on Bovine Serum Albumin: A Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamic Simulation Study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Islamic Azad, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pilot Nanobiotechnology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Life Science Engineering, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Background: Methyl-Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) as a gasoline modifier is frequently added to fuels and used in plenty of worldwide applications. MTBE biodegradation in groundwater occurs slowly and produces water miscibility; therefore, it causes diverse environmental and human health concerns.
Objectives: The interaction of MTBE with bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein at physiological conditions is investigated to illustrate the possible interactions of MTBE with the body’s proteins.
Materials and Methods: Uv–visible, fluorescence, circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy methods, and molecular modeling were used to analyze the MTBE’s effect on BSA structure and dynamics. The constant protein concentration and various MTBE contents were used for possible interactions.
Results: The protein structural analysis shows that MTBE binds to BSA via positive enthalpy and entropy via hydrophobic interactions. Molecular docking shows the participation of several amino acids in the MTBE-BSA interaction. The CD spectroscopy results show that the BSA structure was not changed in the MTBE concentrations utilized in the study. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation results suggest that MTBE can slightly change protein structure in the last 50ns.
Conclusion: Comparing experimental and MD simulation results demonstrated that the BSA secondary structure was maintained in the low concentration of the MTBE. The entropy and enthalpy parameters asserted the hydrophobic interaction was the major force in the interaction between the BSA and MTBE.


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