Analytical Ultracentrifugation (AUC): An Overview of the Application of Fluorescence and Absorbance AUC to the Study of Biological Macromolecules. Journal Article uri icon



  • The biochemical and biophysical investigation of proteins, nucleic acids, and the assemblies that they form yields essential information to understand complex systems. Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) represents a broadly applicable and information-rich method for investigating macromolecular characteristics such as size, shape, stoichiometry, and binding properties, all in the true solution-state environment that is lacking in most orthogonal methods. Despite this, AUC remains underutilized relative to its capabilities and potential in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology. Although there has been a rapid development of computing power and AUC analysis tools in this millennium, fewer advancements have occurred in development of new applications of the technique, leaving these powerful instruments underappreciated and underused in many research institutes. With AUC previously limited to absorbance and Rayleigh interference optics, the addition of fluorescence detection systems has greatly enhanced the applicability of AUC to macromolecular systems that are traditionally difficult to characterize. This overview provides a resource for novices, highlighting the potential of AUC and encouraging its use in their research, as well as for current users, who may benefit from our experience. We discuss the strengths of fluorescence-detected AUC and demonstrate the power of even simple AUC experiments to answer practical and fundamental questions about biophysical properties of macromolecular assemblies. We address the development and utility of AUC, explore experimental design considerations, present case studies investigating properties of biological macromolecules that are of common interest to researchers, and review popular analysis approaches. © 2020 The Authors.

publication date

  • December 1, 2020

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • January 22, 2021 6:58 AM

Full Author List

  • Edwards GB; Muthurajan UM; Bowerman S; Luger K

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1934-3647

Additional Document Info

start page

  • e131


  • 133


  • 1