Analytical ultracentrifugation: a versatile tool for the characterisation of macromolecular complexes in solution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
  • University of Nottingham
  • ISIS Spallation Neutron and Muon Source and Research Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA, United Kingdom


Analytical ultracentrifugation, an early technique developed for characterizing quantitatively the solution properties of macromolecules, remains a powerful aid to structural biologists in their quest to understand the formation of biologically important protein complexes at the molecular level. Treatment of the basic tenets of the sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium variants of analytical ultracentrifugation is followed by considerations of the roles that it, in conjunction with other physicochemical procedures, has played in resolving problems encountered in the delineation of complex formation for three biological systems – the cytoplasmic dynein complex, mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK2) self-interaction, and the terminal catalytic complex in selenocysteine synthesis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Early online date10 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016


  • Analytical ultracentrifugation, Catalytic complex in selenocysteine synthesis, Cytoplasmic dynein complex, Mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK2), Sedimentation equilibrium, Sedimentation velocity, SepSecS–tRNASec interaction