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J Mol Biol. 1999 Jan 8;285(1):361-78.

Long-range effects on dynamics in a temperature-sensitive mutant of trp repressor.

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Chemistry Department, Princeton University, Frick Laboratory, Washington Road & William Street, Princeton, NJ, 08544-1009, USA.


A mutant tryptophan repressor (TrpR) protein containing the substitution of phenylalanine for leucine 75 has been isolated following a genetic screen for temperature-sensitive mutations. Two-dimensional (2D) 1H NMR spectra indicate an overall very similar fold for the purified mutant and wild-type proteins. Circular dichroism spectropolarimetry indicates an increased helix content relative to the wild-type protein, and a slightly higher urea denaturation midpoint for the mutant protein, although there is no difference in thermal stability. Fluorescence spectra indicate a more buried environment for one or both tryptophan residues in the mutant protein. The rate of proton-deuterium exchange-out for the resolved indole ring protons of the two tryptophan residues was quantified from NMR spectra of mutant and wild-type proteins and found to be approximately 50% faster in the wild-type protein. The mutant protein binds the corepressor l-tryptophan (l-Trp) approximately ten times more weakly than does the wild-type protein, but in l-Trp excess its DNA-binding affinity is only two to fivefold weaker. Taken together the results imply that, despite its conservative chemical character and surface location at the C terminus of helix one in the helix-turn-helix DNA recognition motif, this mutational change confers long-range effects on the dynamics of the protein's secondary and tertiary structure without substantially altering its fold, and with relatively minor effects on protein function.

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