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Nat Struct Biol. 1999 Sep;6(9):876-83.

A model of the changes in denatured state structure underlying m value effects in staphylococcal nuclease.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University of School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Abstract

Hydrogen exchange kinetics were measured on the native states of wild type staphylococcal nuclease and four mutants with values of mGuHCl (defined as dDeltaG/d[guanidine hydrochloride]) ranging from 0.8 to 1.4 of the wild type value. Residues within the five-strand beta-barrel of wild type and E75A and D77A, two mutants with reduced values of m GuHCl, were significantly more protected from exchange than expected on the basis of global stability as measured by fluorescence. In contrast, mutants V23A and M26G with elevated values of mGuHCl approach a flat profile of more or less constant protection independent of position in the structure. Differences in exchange protection between the C-terminus and the beta-barrel region correlate with mGuHCl, suggesting that a residual barrel-like structure becomes more highly populated in the denatured states of m- mutants and less populated in m+ mutants. Variations in the population of such a molten globule-like structure would account for the large changes in solvent accessible surface area of the denatured state thought to underlie m value effects.

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