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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 4;277(1):23-31. Epub 2001 Oct 15.

Role of interfacial hydrophobic residues in the stabilization of the leucine zipper structures of the transcription factors c-Fos and c-Jun.

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Centre for Bioprocess Technology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, P. O. Box 13D, Victoria 3800, Australia.


This study documents a new and versatile experimental approach to study the relative stabilization energetics of recombinant polypeptide and protein mutants. In particular, the effect of temperature change over the range of T = 278-338 K on the thermodynamics of interaction of several leucine zipper coiled-coil polypeptides related to the transcription factors, c-Fos and c-Jun, following binding to immobilized n-octyl ligands has been determined. Plots of the change in heat capacity, DeltaC(p)0, versus T, in combination with the corresponding van't Hoff plots, allow the energetics of the interaction of polypeptides with n-octyl ligands to be rationalized and the respective mid-point transition temperatures, T(m) values, determined for the melting of their supramolecular structures. The derived experimental data correlated well with information available from other procedures, confirming that this new approach provides complementary insight into the interaction thermodynamics and the molecular nature of the thermal stability of recombinant polypeptides in non-polar or other types of chemical environments.

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