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Acid Base Neutralizing Effect of Albumin

Introduction:
Albumin is the most important protein present that acts as a weak acid so the total amount
of protein is approximated by the albumin concentration ([Alb]). Globulins do not contribute
significantly to the total negative charge due to plasma proteins. The level of albumin in body
fluids is imposed upon the acid-base system and is not regulated by it. The colloid osmotic
pressure & osmolality of the extravascular liver space is the primary factor which controls the
rate of production of albumin. (Pietrangelo et al, 1992).
Albumin is an family of proteins. Many types can be found all over the natural world, and
two of the most familiar examples can be found in egg whites and in human blood. Albumins are
an important class of protein, and they are vitally important to health and well being for many
organisms. Many plants and animals contain or secrete this protein.
The solubility of proteins is highly variable. Some are completely insoluble (such as
keratin, elastin) or show negligible solubility (e.g. collagen). Others dissolve very well (e.g.
hemoglobin, albumin). The following are solvents for proteins: water or aqueous solutions of
salt, acids and alkalis, urea or detergents. Solubility depends on the presence of polar amino
acids in the protein molecule. Proteins with a high content of polar amino acid dissolve in a
water environment. Polar groups of amino acid side chains produce hydrogen bonds with water
molecules. The protein molecule is surrounded by a water jacket. Proteins, which are dominated
by non-polar amino acids, have a limited ability to bind water and are therefore insoluble.

Protein solutions are generally real solutions with a monomolecular degree of dispersion.
Sometimes, however, protein molecules associate to form aggregates composed of two or several
particles. The protein solution then takes on the characteristics of the colloidal solution.
Proteins exhibit amphoteric properties. In the solution (depending on pH), they act like
acids or bases. This characteristic is mainly conditioned by the presence of polar groups with the
electric charge in the side chains of certain amino acids. The NH2 groups bind the H+ ions
present in the solution preventing acidification, and protons separated during the dissociation of
the COOH groups neutralize the OH- ions preventing alkalization.
This characteristic of amino acids, peptides and proteins has been important in
maintaining the acid-alkaline balance of tissues and body fluids. The acidic characteristics are
given to protein primarily by the carboxyl groups of aspartic acid residues and the -carboxyl
groups of the glutamic acid residues, which dissociate releasing (H+) protons and create the
negatively charged -COO- group. An alkaline environment is conducive to the dissociation of the
carboxyl groups and the transformation of proteins into the anionic form. The -amino group of
lysine residues, the guanidine groups of the arginine residues and the imidazole rings of histidine
residues give protein alkaline characteristics. They can bind protons (H+), giving the protein
molecule a positive charge. An acidic environment is conducive to the binding of protons by the
before mentioned groups and the transformation of protein into cationic form.
Single -amino and -carboxyl groups found in N-terminal and C-terminal amino acids have
little influence on the net electric charge of the protein molecules.

Materials and Method:

Apparatus/ Materials:

Reagents:

2 test tube,
Stirring rod

Albumin

2 dropper

methyl orange

Graduated cylinder

phenolphthalein

Preparing 5.0 ml of albumin in a separate test tube, add 1 drop of methyl orange in the
first test tube and 1 drop of methyl orange in the second test tube with constant stirring .

Results and Discussion:


Reagents Used
Albumin
Albumin

Reagents Added
Methyl orange
Phenolphthalein

Results
Yellow
Colorless

The Albumin with methyl orange turns to yellow and makes the solution basic. While,
albumin with phenolphthalein remain colorless and makes the solution acidic. So, albumin can
neutralized an acid and base.

Conclusion and Recommendation


Albumin is the most important protein present that acts as a weak acid so the total amount
of protein is approximated by the albumin concentration ([Alb]). Proteins exhibit amphoteric
properties. In the solution (depending on pH), they act like acids or bases. This characteristic is
mainly conditioned by the presence of polar groups with the electric charge in the side chains of
certain amino acids. The NH2 groups bind the H+ ions present in the solution preventing
acidification, and protons separated during the dissociation of the COOH groups neutralize the
OH- ions preventing alkalization. To recommend that by doing this experiment Albumin is a
major protein found in the blood. Protein plays a big role in fighting off infections and building
or repairing muscle tissue. When a person does not eat enough calories or protein, the liver
doesnt have enough protein to make new albumin, which causes lower albumin levels in the
blood. Research has shown that patients with low albumin levels over time have a higher death
risk. Testing albumin levels helps assess a persons nutritional status and risk for malnutrition.
Reference:

http://www.umb.edu.pl/photo/pliki/WL_jednostki/zaklad_biochemii_lekarskiej/

pdf/biochemistry_workbook.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albumin

www.uen.org/.../downloadFile.cgi?...Acids...Protein...Acids...Protein

http://www.esrdnet15.org/QI/albumin.pdf
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-albumin.htm