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Biochemistry. 1975 Aug 12;14(16):554-61.

Correlation proton magnetic resonance studies at 250 MHz of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease. II. pH and inhibitor-induced conformational transitions affecting histidine-48 and one tyrosine residue of ribonuclease A.


The microenvironment of histidine-48 of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A was investigated by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR) using partially deuterated enzyme in which resolution of the C(2)-H resonance of histidine-48 was simplified. The NMR titration curves at 100 and 250 MHz of histidine-48 of ribonuclease A are discontinuous both for the enzyme alone in 0.3 M chloride and for its complex with cytidine 3'-phosphate. This suggests that titration of histidine-48 occurs only as the result of a slow conformational transition. The sum of the peaks corresponding to histidine-48 in the acid-stable and base-stable forms of the enzyme is less than one proton in the transition region, which indicates that there exists at least one intermediate conformational form of the enzyme. The transition from the acid-stable form to an intermediate form has a pHmid of 5.6, and the transition from an intermediate form to the base-stable form has a pHmid of 6.9. In ribonuclease S and in ribonuclease A in the presence of 0.3 M acetate, the titration curve of histidine-48 is continuous, and the area of the peak is uniform throughout the titration. Proton NMR difference spectra at 100 and 250 MHz reveal a pH-induced conformational change with a pHmid of 5.7 that affects the chemical shift of a single tyrosine residue. This conformational transition is absent in ribonuclease S and is altered in ribonuclease A by the presence of either acetate or cytidine 3'-monophosphate. It is postulated that the same conformational transition is responsible for both the tyrosine perturbation and the disappearance of the histidine-48 peak observed in the acid-stable form of the enzyme. It is proposed that the perturbed tyrosine is tyrosine-25. The transition with pHmid 5.6 is attributed to dissociation of aspartic acid-14, and the transition with pHmid 6.9 is assigned to dissociation of histidine-48. A peak in the aromatic region that moves upfield on addition of the competitive inhibitor cytidine 3'-monophosphate is assigned to a tyrosine, and evidence is presented that this tyrosine is tyrosine-25. Inhibitor binding appears to induce a conformational change in the histidine-48/tyrosine-25 region which is remote from the active site.

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