Isolation of a Novel Chromium (III) Binding Protein from Bovine Liver Tissue After Chromium (VI) Exposure

In the ongoing investigation into the biological importance and toxicity issues surrounding the bioinorganic chemistry of chromium, the accepted literature procedure for the isolation of the biological form of chromium, low molecular weight chromium binding protein (LMWCr) or chromodulin, was investigated for its specificity. When chromium(VI) is added to bovine liver homogenate, results presented here indicate at least four chromium(III) binding peptides and proteins are produced and that the process is non-specific for the isolation of LMWCr. A novel trivalent chromium containing protein (1) has been isolated to purity and initial characterization is reported here. Chromium(III) identification was determined by optical spectroscopy and diphenylcarbazide testing. This chromium binding protein has a molecular weight of 15.6 kDa, which was determined from both gel-electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. The protein is comprised primarily of Asx, Glx, His, Gly/Thr, Ala, and Lys in a 1.00:2.51:0.37:2.09:0.39:1.17 ratio and is anionic at pH 7.4. In addition, the protein binds approximately 2.5 chromium(III) ions per molecule.