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In general does the pH effect the precipitation, e.g. would a pH of 6 cause less precipitation than pH 7.5. Or are they unrelated?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think it would affect some proteins, but ammonium sulfate precipitation usually requires such large amounts of salt, that you would have to add a lot of base to adjust the pH.

When I have done ammonium sulfate precipitation, its to take a rough cut of proteins out of a whole cell/whole organ lysate - its more like a hammer than a pair of tweezers as far as protein purification is concerned. I would rather use a charged plastic resin or a sizing column if I were to care about the isoelectric purification.

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Thanks. I'm actually trying to stop precipitation when incubating a protein in ammonium acetate, and I wondered if an acidic pH would reduce this. Do you have any suggestions – Anake Oct 9 '12 at 12:30
Do you know the pI of your protein? Proteins are least soluble at pH=pI. – Alan Boyd Oct 9 '12 at 13:10
also consider detergent - might the protein be a bit hydrophilic? – shigeta Oct 9 '12 at 13:51
@Anake, I would look up – bobthejoe Oct 10 '12 at 8:45
the protein isn't hydrophobic, it is the ammonium's precipitating tendency as in the Hoffmeister series. I HAVE to use an ammonium salt, so the hoffmeister series cannot help me in that respect – Anake Oct 10 '12 at 13:48

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