Compositional and Conformational Analysis of Yam Proteins by Near Infrared Fourier Transform Raman Spectroscopy

Author(s): Liao YH, Wang CH, Tseng CY, Chen HL, Lin LL, et al.


Fourier transform (FT)-Raman spectroscopy was employed to study the molecular structure of yam proteins isolated from three commonly consumed yam species including Dioscorea alata L., D. alata L. var. purpurea, and Dioscorea japonica. Although D. alata L. and D. alata L. var. purpurea consisted of similar amino acid residues, they still exhibited significant differences in conformational arrangement. The secondary structure of D. alata L. was mainly an alpha-helix, while D. alata L. var. purpurea was mostly in antiparallel beta-sheets. In contrast, D. japonica, which belongs to a different species, exhibited explicit differences in amino acid compositions and molecular structures of which the conformation was a mixed form of alpha-helices and antiparallel beta-sheets. FT-Raman directly proved the existence of S-S in yam proteins, implying that oligomer formation in yam proteins might be due to disulfide linking of dioscorin (32 kDa). The microenvironment of aromatic amino acids and the state of S-S in yam proteins were also discussed.

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