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Biochemistry. 2006 Aug 15;45(32):9767-77.

The location of an engineered inter-subunit disulfide bond in factor for inversion stimulation (FIS) affects the denaturation pathway and cooperativity.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA.


Two crossed-linked variants of the homodimeric DNA binding protein factor for inversion stimulation (FIS) were created via engineering of single intermolecular disulfide bonds. The conservative S30C and the nonconservative V58C FIS independent mutations resulted in FIS crossed-linked at the A helix (C30-C30) and at the middle of the B helix (C58-C58). This study sought to investigate how the location of an intermolecular disulfide bond may determine the effect on stability and its propagation through the structure to preserve or alter the denaturation cooperativity of FIS. The oxidized and reduced S30C and V58C FIS exhibited a far-UV CD spectrum and DNA binding affinities that were similar to WT FIS, indicating no significant changes in secondary and tertiary structure. However, the reduced and oxidized forms of the mutants revealed significant differences in the stability and equilibrium denaturation mechanism between the two mutants. In the reduced state, S30C FIS had very little effect on FIS stability, whereas V58C FIS was 2-3 kcal/mol less stable than WT FIS. Interestingly, while both disulfide bonds significantly increased the resistance to urea- and guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl)-induced denaturation, oxidized V58C FIS exhibited a three-state GuHCl-induced transition. In contrast, oxidized S30C FIS displayed a highly cooperative WT-like transition with both denaturants. The three-state denaturation mechanism of oxidized V58C FIS induced by the GuHCl salt was reproduced by urea denaturation at pH 4, suggesting that disruption of a C-terminus salt-bridge network is responsible for the loss of denaturation cooperativity of V58C FIS in GuHCl or urea, pH 4. A second mutation on V58C FIS created to place a single tryptophan probe (Y95W) at the C-terminus further implies that the denaturation intermediate observed in disulfide crossed-linked V58C FIS results from a decoupling of the stabilities of the C-terminus and the rest of the protein. These results show that, unlike the C30-C30 intermolecular disulfide bond, the C58-C58 disulfide bond did not evenly stabilize the FIS structure, thereby highlighting the importance of the location of an engineered disulfide bond on the propagation of stability and the denaturation cooperativity of a protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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