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FEBS Lett. 1999 Jun 11;452(3):205-10.

Contribution of separate tryptophan residues to intrinsic fluorescence of actin. Analysis of 3D structure.

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  • 1Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg.

Abstract

The location of tryptophan residues in the actin macromolecule was studied on the basis of the known 3D structure. For every tryptophan residue the polarity and packing density of their microenvironments were evaluated. To estimate the accessibility of the tryptophan residues to the solvent molecules it was proposed to analyze the radial dependence of the packing density of atoms in the macromolecule about the geometric center of the indole rings of the tryptophan residues. The proposed analysis revealed that the microenvironment of tryptophan residues Trp-340 and Trp-356 has a very high density. So these residues can be regarded as internal and inaccessible to solvent molecules. Their microenvironment is mainly formed by non-polar groups of protein. Though the packing density of the Trp-86 microenvironment is lower, this tryptophan residue is apparently also inaccessible to solvent molecules, as it is located in the inner region of macromolecule. Tryptophan residue Trp-79 is external and accessible to the solvent. All residues that can affect tryptophan fluorescence were revealed. It was found that in the close vicinity of tryptophan residues Trp-79 and Trp-86 there are a number of sulfur atoms of cysteine and methionine residues that are known to be effective quenchers of tryptophan fluorescence. The most essential is the location of SG atom of Cys-10 near the NE1 atom of the indole ring of tryptophan residue Trp-86. On the basis of microenvironment analysis of these tryptophan residues and the evaluation of energy transfer between them it was concluded that the contribution of tryptophan residues Trp-79 and Trp-86 must be low. Intrinsic fluorescence of actin must be mainly determined by two other tryptophan residues--Trp-340 and Trp-356. It is possible that the unstrained conformation of tryptophan residue Trp-340 and the existence of aromatic rings of tyrosine and phenylalanine and proline residues in the microenvironments of tryptophan residues Trp-340 and Trp-356 are also essential to their blue fluorescence spectrum.

PMID:
10386591
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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