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Biopolymers. 2006 Dec 15;83(6):619-29.

pH-dependent aggregation of cutinase is efficiently suppressed by 1,8-ANS.

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Department of Life Sciences, Aalborg University, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark.


We have studied the thermal stability of the triglyceride-hydrolyzing enzyme cutinase from F. solani pisi at pH values straddling the pI (pH 8.0). At the pI, increasing the protein concentration from 5 to 80 microM decreases the apparent melting temperature by 19 degrees C. This effect vanishes at pH values more than one unit away from pI. In contrast to additives such as detergents and osmolytes, the hydrophobic fluorophore 1,8-ANS completely and saturably suppresses this effect, restoring 70% of enzymatic activity upon cooling. ANS binds strongly to native cutinase as a noncompetitive inhibitor with up to 5 ANS per cutinase molecule. Only the first ANS molecule stabilizes cutinase; however, the last 4 ANS molecules decrease Tm by up to 7 degrees C. Similar pI-dependent aggregation and suppression by ANS is observed for T. lanuginosus lipase, but not for lysozyme or porcine alpha-amylase, suggesting that this behavior is most prevalent for proteins with affinity for hydrophobic substrates and consequent exposure of hydrophobic patches. Aggregation may be promoted by a fluctuating ensemble of native-like states associating via intermolecular beta-sheet rich structures unless blocked by ANS. Our data highlight the chaperone activity of small molecules with affinity for hydrophobic surfaces and their potential application as stabilizers at appropriate stoichiometries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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