Istituto di Biofisica     
Gonnelli M., Strambini G. B. Glycerol effects on protein flexibility: a tryptophan phosphorescence study. In: Biophysical Journal, vol. 65 pp. 131 - 137. Biophysical Society, 1993.
In exploring the dynamic properties of protein structure, numerous studies have focussed on the dependence of structural fluctuations on solvent viscosity, but the emerging picture is still not well defined. Exploiting the sensitivity of the phosphorescence lifetime of tryptophan to the viscosity of its environment we have used the delayed emission as an intrinsic probe of protein flexibility and investigated the effects of glycerol as a viscogenic cosolvent. The phosphorescence lifetime of alcohol dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, apoazurin and RNase T1, as a function of glycerol concentration was studied at various temperatures. Flexibility data, which refer to rather rigid sites of the globular structures, point out that, for some concentration ranges glycerol, effects on the rate of structural fluctuations of alcohol dehydrogenase and RNase T1 do not obey Kramers' a power law on solvent viscosity and emphasize that cosolvent-induced structural changes can be important, even for inner cores of the macromolecule. When the data is analyzed in terms of Kramers' model, for the temperature range 0-30 degrees C one derives frictional coefficients that are relatively large (0.6-0.7) for RNase T1, where the probe is in a flexible region near the surface of the macromolecule and much smaller, less than 0.2, for the rigid sites of the other proteins. For the latter sites the frictional coefficient rises sharply between 40 and 60 degrees C, and its value correlates weakly with molecular parameters such as the depth of burial or the rigidity of a particular site. For RNase T1, coupling to solvent viscosity increases at subzero temperatures, with the coefficient becoming as large as 1 at -20 degrees C.
URL: http://www.biophysj.org/cgi/content/abstract/65/1/131?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=strambini&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=10&resourcetype=HWCIT
Subject Dynamic properties
Protein structure
Structural fluctuations
Solvent viscosity

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