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Biochemistry. 1990 Aug 7;29(31):7318-28.

A calcium-specific conformational response of parvalbumin.

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Division of Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.


The single tryptophan containing isotype III parvalbumin from codfish (Gadus callarius) was purified by a modified procedure and was shown to be homogeneous by a number of biochemical techniques. Sequence analysis established the location of the single tryptophan in position 102 of the 108 amino acid primary sequence. Atomic absorption spectroscopy showed that trichloroacetic acid (TCA) precipitation was more effective in parvalbumin decalcification compared to the more commonly used method of EGTA treatment. Magnesium induced steady-state fluorescence spectral changes of the EGTA-treated, but not the TCA-treated, parvalbumin. Steady-state fluorescence and circular dichroism spectra showed that calcium, but not magnesium, induced a conformational response in the TCA-treated protein. The fluorescence decay of the calcium-loaded native (holo) cod III parvalbumin was best described by two decay time components. By contrast, three lifetime components were necessary to describe the fluorescence decay of the metal-free (apo) protein. The decay-associated spectra of each temporal component were obtained. Collectively, these results demonstrate that it is possible for a parvalbumin to display a calcium-specific response.

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