The formation of macromolecular protein clusters in the presence of heavy metal ions was discovered using the Rayleigh scattering technique. The conditions attending the formation and destruction of such clusters are studied. It is demonstrated that the mass of the clusters is a maximum at the isoelectric point of the protein and increases with the increasing of ionic strength of the solution. The formation of protein clusters in the presence of toxic heavy metal ions in living cells is of substantial physiological and ecological importance. The molecular mechanism is discussed whereby such clusters are formed.
Faculty of Physics, Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119992, Russia