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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparison of metal ion-induced conformational changes in parvalbumin and oncomodulin as probed by the intrinsic fluorescence of tryptophan 102.

The calcium-induced conformational changes of the 108-amino acid residue proteins, cod III parvalbumin and oncomodulin, were compared using tryptophan as a sensitive spectroscopic probe. As native oncomodulin is devoid of tryptophan, site-specific mutagenesis was performed to create a mutant protein in which tryptophan was placed in the identical position (residue 102) as the single tryptophan residue in cod III parvalbumin. The results showed that in the region probed by tryptophan-102, cod III parvalbumin experienced significantly greater changes in conformation upon decalcification compared to the oncomodulin mutant, F102W. Addition of 1 eq of Ca2+ produced greater than 90% of the total fluorescence response in F102W, while in cod III parvalbumin, only 74% of the total was observed. Cod III parvalbumin displayed a negligible response upon Mg2+ addition. In contrast, F102W did respond to Mg2+, but the response was considerably less when compared to Ca2+ addition. Time-resolved fluorescence showed that the tryptophan in both proteins existed in at least two conformational states in the presence of Ca2+ and at least three conformational states in its absence. Comparison with quantum yield measurements indicated that the local electronic environment of the tryptophan was significantly different in the two proteins. Collectively, these results demonstrate that both cod III parvalbumin and oncomodulin undergo Ca2(+)-specific conformational changes. However, oncomodulin is distinct from cod III parvalbumin in terms of the electronic environment of the hydrophobic core, the magnitude of the Ca2(+)-induced conformational changes, and the number of calcium ions required to modulate the major conformational changes.[1]


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