Multimodal or mixed-mode chromatography can be used to separate various proteins, including antibodies. The separation quality and efficiency have been improved by the addition of solutes, especially arginine. This review summarizes the mechanism underlying the effects of arginine on protein elution in multimodal chromatography with neutral, anionic or cationic resin ligands; the mechanism has been investigated using experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. Arginine is effective in facilitating protein elution compared to salts and protein denaturants such as guanidine and urea. The unique elution effect of arginine can be explained by the interplay among arginine, proteins and the resin ligands.
Arginine exhibits multiple binding modes for the ligands and further affinity for protein aromatic residues through its guanidinium group. These properties make arginine versatile for protein elution in multimodal chromatography. Taking into account that arginine is an aggregation suppressor for proteins but not a protein denaturant, arginine is a promising protein-eluting reagent for multimodal chromatography.
Keywords: arginine, molecular dynamics simulation, multimodal chromatography
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