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J Phys Chem B. 2007 Mar 1;111(8):2113-8. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Different thermal unfolding pathways of catalase in the presence of cationic surfactants.

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Group of Biophysics and Interfaces, Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


In this paper we have corroborated the usefulness of spectroscopic techniques, such as UV-visible, in the study and thermodynamic characterization of the thermal unfolding of catalase as a function of the concentration and alkyl chain length of n-alkyltrimethylammonium bromides (CnTAB, n = 8, 10, and 12). For this reason, a thermodynamic model was used which included experimental data corresponding to the pre- and posttransition into the observable transition. It has been found that n-alkyltrimethylammonium bromides play two opposite roles in the folding and stability of catalase. They act as a structure stabilizer at a low molar concentration and as a destabilizer at a higher concentration. The maximum of the unfolding temperature has been found to decrease with the alkyl chain. The reason for this difference has been suggested to be the side chains involved. In the presence of C8TAB and C10TAB, Gibbs energies of unfolding (DeltaG(T)) decrease with concentration, whereas for C12TAB an increase has been observed. These findings can be explained by the fact that when differences in the hydrophobic nature of the surfactants exist, different pathways of unfolding may occur. Also, the presence of surfactants has been observed to affect the cold denaturation of catalase. Thermodynamic results suggest that the thermal denaturation of catalase in the presence of n-alkyltrimethylammonium bromides is a perfect transition between two states.

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