Arginine hydrochloride has been used to suppress protein aggregation during refolding and in various other applications. We investigated the structure of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEL) and solvent molecules in arginine hydrochloride solution by X-ray crystallography. Neither the backbone nor side-chain structure of HEL was altered by the presence of arginine hydrochloride. In addition, no stably bound arginine molecules were observed. The number of hydration water molecules, however, changed with the arginine hydrochloride concentration. We suggest that arginine hydrochloride suppresses protein aggregation by altering the hydration structure and the transient binding of arginine molecules that could not be observed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas