Equilibrium unfolding studies of monellin: the double-chain variant appears to be more stable than the single-chain variant

Aghera, Nilesh ; Earanna, Ninganna ; Udgaonkar, Jayant B. (2011) Equilibrium unfolding studies of monellin: the double-chain variant appears to be more stable than the single-chain variant Biochemistry, 50 (13). pp. 2434-2444. ISSN 0006-2960

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Official URL: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bi101955f

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi101955f


To improve our understanding of the contributions of different stabilizing interactions to protein stability, including that of residual structure in the unfolded state, the small sweet protein monellin has been studied in both its two variant forms, the naturally occurring double-chain variant (dcMN) and the artificially created single-chain variant (scMN). Equilibrium guanidine hydrochloride-induced unfolding studies at pH 7 show that the standard free energy of unfolding, ΔG°U, of dcMN to unfolded chains A and B and its dependence on guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl) concentration are both independent of protein concentration, while the midpoint of unfolding has an exponential dependence on protein concentration. Hence, the unfolding of dcMN like that of scMN can be described as two-state unfolding. The free energy of dissociation, ΔG°d, of the two free chains, A and B, from dcMN, as measured by equilibrium binding studies, is significantly lower than Δ G°U, apparently because of the presence of residual structure in free chain B. The value of ΔG°U, at the standard concentration of 1 M, is found to be ~5.5 kcal mol−1 higher for dcMN than for scMN in the range from pH 4 to 9, over which unfolding appears to be two-state. Hence, dcMN appears to be more stable than scMN. It seems that unfolded scMN is stabilized by residual structure that is absent in unfolded dcMN and/or that native scMN is destabilized by strain that is relieved in native dcMN. The value of ΔG°U for both protein variants decreases with an increase in pH from 4 to 9, apparently because of the thermodynamic coupling of unfolding to the protonation of a buried carboxylate side chain whose pKa shifts from 4.5 in the unfolded state to 9 in the native state. Finally, it is shown that although the thermodynamic stabilities of dcMN and scMN are very different, their kinetic stabilities with respect to unfolding in GdnHCl are very similar.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
ID Code:54275
Deposited On:11 Aug 2011 12:19
Last Modified:11 Aug 2011 12:19

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