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J Mol Biol. 1995 Apr 7;247(4):701-16.

Ligand-induced changes in the conformational stability of bovine trypsinogen and their implications for the protein function.

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Institute of Biochemistry, University of Wroclaw, Poland.


Bovine trypsinogen was used as a model protein for studying changes in the conformational stability induced by pH or binding of the calcium ion. Spectrophotometrically monitored thermal unfolding of trypsinogen and beta-trypsin in the acidic pH range yielded substantial differences in the stability parameters. Compared to beta-trypsin, trypsinogen exhibits lower enthalpy of denaturation delta Hden, higher denaturational heat capacity change delta Cp,den, but very similar temperature of denaturation Tden. pH-dependence of the conformational stability of the ligand-free trypsinogen, measured also by GdnCl-induced unfolding, is bell shaped with the maximum free energy of unfolding delta Gden = 10.9 kcal/mole at pH 5.5 (4.5 pH units below its isoelectric point). At pH 8.3 the conformational stability of the zymogen drops to delta Gden = 3.2 kcal/mole, but increases by delta delta Gden = 6.1 kcal/mole in the presence of Ca2+. This significant stabilization of the zymogen by the calcium ion is also pH-dependent. To assess the effect of Ca2+ on the trypsinogen molecule, the spectrophotometric titrations and NOESY spectra were carried out. Based on the structural analysis, the long range effects between Ca2+-->Ile73-->Trp141 and the interdomain His40-Asp194 ion pair are proposed to be partially responsible for trypsinogen stabilization. Additionally, the steady-state parameters for hydrolysis of the oligopeptide amide substrate catalysed by free trypsinogen, its complexes with Ca2+ and the IleVal dipeptide and by beta-trypsin were measured. It appears that in the pH range 5.5 to 8.3 the stability and the catalytic activity/ligand binding properties are fully separated. Whereas the deprotonation of His57 accounts for the increase of kcat/km parameter, deprotonation of His40 is involved in the huge decrease of the conformational stability. Similarly, a large stabilization by the calcium ion is not accompanied by changes in enzymatic activity. Presented data are encouraging for an enzyme design directed toward improved stability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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