Purification of human plasma haptoglobin by hemoglobin-affinity column chromatography

Chun Yi Liau, Tsai Mu Chang, Ju Pin Pan, Wen Liang Chen, Simon J.T. Mao

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Haptoglobin (Hp) is an acute-phase protein; its plasma levels increase consistently in response to infection and inflammation. The concentration of human plasma Hp is ranged between 1 and 1.5 mg/ml. Similar to blood type, individual human Hp is classified as Hp 1-1, 2-1, or 2-2. The structural and functional analysis of the Hp, however, has not been studied in detail due to its difficult isolation procedure. Previously, we reported a single step for the purification of porcine Hp. In this study, we established a purification method using a high capacity hemoglobin-affinity column. Briefly, DEAE-purified human hemoglobin was first coupled to Sepharose 4B to prepare an affinity column in a 15-ml bed volume. Following a flow through of human plasma and an extensive wash, the bound material was eluted with a solution of 0.15 M NaCl, pH 11 (adjusted by ammonium), to remove low-affinity bound proteins. The high-affinity bound Hp was then eluted with 0.15 M NaCl containing 5 M urea, pH 11, and collected in tubes containing 100 μl of 1 M Tris buffer, pH 7.0. The biological activity of dialyzed Hp was retained as it formed a complex with hemoglobin on a sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Using this procedure, approximately 10 mg of Hp 1-1, with homogeneity greater than 96%, was obtained from 15 ml of human plasma. Affinity purified Hp 2-1 or 2-2, however, contained trace amounts of apoA-I with the similar approach. The Hp could be further purified by HPLC using a Superose 12 gel-permeation chromatography, if desired, to achieve 100% purity. All the phenotypes of purified Hp consisted of α and β chains on SDS-PAGE in the presence of a reducing reagent, further confirmed by a Western blot analysis. We conclude that human hemoglobin-affinity column was most suitable for the isolation of Hp 1-1 in large quantities. Whereas, one additional step using a gel-permeation was necessary for that of Hp 2-1 and 2-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 25 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Affinity adsorbents
  • Glycoproteins
  • Haptoglobin
  • Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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