Crystal structure of pharmaceutical-grade human serum albumin

Jimin Park, Mi Sun Kim, Taeseong Park, Young Hwan Kim, Dong Hae Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most abundant protein in human plasma and plays versatile biological role. HSA has been widely used to treat several diseases and develop biocompatible biomaterials for biomedical applications. However, pharmaceutical-grade HSA (p-HSA) showed the altered oxidative and ligand-binding properties compare to native HSA. To investigate the influences of the manufacturing process on the molecular state of HSA, we determined the first crystal structure of p-HSA using the commercial HSA solution without any defatting step and further purification and carried out mass spectrometry to identify bound ligands. The crystal structure of p-HSA revealed that medium- and long-chain fatty acids and tryptophan are bound to p-HSA and one free cysteine is oxidized to cysteine-sulfenic acid. The mass spectra of p-HSA also confirmed the existence of fatty acids and tryptophan in p-HSA. Our results enhance understanding of the molecular state of p-HSA and can be utilized to produce p-HSA solutions and HSA-based biomaterials that has a higher biorelevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Crystal structure
  • Human serum albumin
  • Pharmaceutical-grade albumin


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