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Comparative fluorescence properties of bovine, goat, human and guinea pig alpha lactalbumin. Characterization of the environments of individual tryptophan residues in partially folded conformers.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biophysical Chemistry
0301-4622
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
11
Issue
2
Pages
217–232
Identifiers
PMID: 7370388
Source
Medline

Abstract

alpha Lactalbumin exists as a partially folded conformer (U form) at acid pH. A second partially folded conformer (H form) is formed above 60 degrees. Comparison of the changes in tryptophan fluorescence which occur on forming U and H for the bovine, goat, human and guinea pig proteins, as well as analysis of fluorescence properties for the bovine protein and an N bromo succinimide derivative of this protein, have made it possible to determine which tryptophan residues give rise to such changes in fluorescence, and to draw a distinction between the molecular structure of the U and H forms of the protein. Trp 28 and 109 in the native state transfer their excitation energy to trp 63 whose fluorescence is quenched by a pair of vicinal disulfide bridges. This process persists in the U form of the protein, but is absent in the H conformer. Most of the change in fluorescence seen in the N in equilibrium with U conversion is due to increase in yield of trp 28, while the changes in fluorescence occurring on formation of the H form are due to exposure of trp 63 and elimination of its quenching and/or excited state transfer from 28 to 109.

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