Thermal protein unfolding by differential scanning calorimetry and circular dichroism spectroscopy Two-state model versus sequential unfolding

Seelig, Joachim and Schönfeld, Hans-Joachim. (2016) Thermal protein unfolding by differential scanning calorimetry and circular dichroism spectroscopy Two-state model versus sequential unfolding. Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics, 49. e9.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/44094/

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Thermally-induced protein unfolding is commonly described with the two-state model. This model assumes only two types of protein molecules in solution, the native (N) and the denatured, unfolded (U) protein. In reality, protein unfolding is a multistep process, even if intermediate states are only sparsely populated. As an alternative approach we explore the Zimm–Bragg theory, originally developed for the α-helix-to-random coil transition of synthetic polypeptides. The theory includes intermediate structures with concentrations determined by the cooperativity of the unfolding reaction. We illustrate the differences between the two-state model and the Zimm–Bragg theory with measurements of apolipoprotein A-1 and lysozyme by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and CD spectroscopy. Nine further protein examples are taken from the literature. The Zimm–Bragg theory provides a perfect fit of the calorimetric unfolding transitions for all proteins investigated. In contrast, the transition curves and enthalpies predicted by the two-state model differ considerably from the experimental results. Apolipoprotein A-1 is ~50% α-helical at ambient temperature and its unfolding follows the classical α-helix-to-random coil equilibrium. The unfolding of proteins with little α-helix content, such as lysozyme, can also be analyzed with the Zimm–Bragg theory by introducing the concept of ‘folded’ and ‘unfolded’ peptide units assuming an average unfolding enthalpy per peptide unit. DSC is the method of choice to measure the unfolding enthalpy, , but CD spectroscopy in combination with the two-state model is often used to deduce the unfolding enthalpy. This can lead to erroneous result. Not only are different enthalpies required to describe the CD and DSC transition curves but these values deviate distinctly from the experimental result. In contrast, the Zimm–Bragg theory predicts the DSC and CD unfolding transitions with the same set of parameters.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Biophysical Chemistry (Seelig J)
UniBasel Contributors:Seelig, Joachim
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:14 Nov 2017 10:28
Deposited On:30 Oct 2017 08:56

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