Cytochrome c folding traps are not due solely to histidine-heme ligation: Direct demonstration of a role for N-terminal amino group-heme ligation

Barbara Hammack, Shubhada Godbole, Bruce E. Bowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In previous work, heme ligation effects on the folding of cytochrome c have been attributed to histidine side-chains. A variant of yeast iso-1-cytochrome c designated TM, which lacks all histidine residues except His18, still shows evidence of denatured state heme ligation in the pH range between 5 and 6 where normally only histidine ligation is expected. Conversion of the N-terminal amino group of TM to a carbonyl group through a transamination reaction with glyoxylate produced a protein (ModTM) with no terminal amino group. The midpoint pH (pH(1/2)) for loss of heme ligation in 3 M guanidine-HCl shifts from 5.9 to 7.4 as a result of this modification, providing direct evidence for amino group-heme ligation under these conditions. The amino group thus competes with histidine for misligation of iso-1-cytochrome c under denaturing conditions. To assess the effect of denatured state N-terminal amino group-heme ligation on the folding of iso-1-cytochrome c, stopped-flow kinetics experiments were conducted. At pH 6.2, the major refolding lifetimes (3 M→0.27 M guanidine-HCl) for ModTM, TM and the wild-type protein are 11.6 ms, 30 ms and 1.3 seconds, respectively. Denatured state ligation of the N-terminal amino group thus slows folding 2.6-fold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-724
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume275
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 6 1998

Keywords

  • Denatured state
  • Guanidine hydrochloride
  • Heme ligation
  • N-terminal amino group
  • Protein folding

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