Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2009, 74, 1739-1755
Published online 2010-02-04 21:15:54

From DC polarographic presodium wave of proteins to electrochemistry of biomacromolecules

Emil Palečeka,*, Michael Heyrovskýb, Bořivoj Janíka, Dušan Kalába and Zdeněk Pechana

a Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Královopolská 135, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
b J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Dolejškova 3, 182 23 Prague 8, Czech Republic


History of electrochemistry of proteins and nucleic acids is briefly reviewed. The ability of proteins to catalyze hydrogen evolution at Hg electrodes was discovered almost 80 years ago in J. Heyrovský’s laboratory. This phenomenon was not sufficiently appreciated for several decades. Recently it has been shown that using constant current chronopotentiometric stripping (CPS) with hanging mercury drop, solid amalgam or Hg-film electrodes the CPS peak H is obtained with nanomolar concentrations of peptides and proteins. This peak is derived from the presodium wave but it has some new properties useful in protein research. It is sensitive to changes in protein structures and to protein redox states, representing a new tool for protein analysis applicable in biomedicine. Electroactivity of nucleic acids was discovered about 50 years ago. Electrochemistry of DNA and RNA is now a booming field because of its potential use in sensors for DNA hybridization and DNA damage. Quite recently it has been shown that electrochemistry can be applied also in polysaccharide analysis. A review with 99 references.

Keywords: Electrochemistry; Proteins; Polarography; Presodium wave; Chronopotentiometry; Nucleic acids.

References: 100 live references.