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

Effects of sulphate and urea on the stability and reversible unfolding of beta-lactamase from Staphylococcus aureus. Implications for the folding pathway of beta-lactamase.

The reversible denaturation by urea of beta-lactamase from Staphylococcus aureus was followed in the presence and absence of ammonium sulphate by circular dichroism studies, difference absorption spectroscopy and measurement of enzyme activity. The multiple unfolding and refolding transitions demonstrate the existence of a thermodynamically stable state of intermediate conformation in equilibrium with the native (N) and fully unfolded (U) states. Its physical properties show that it is identical to the state H found on denaturation by guanidinium chloride. State H is 10.1 (+/-1.5) kJ mol-1 less stable than the native state and 10.1 (+/-1.6) kJ mol-1 more stable than the unfolded state. Ammonium sulphate shifts both the N in equilibrium H and H in equilibrium U transitions to concentrations of urea higher by 5.3 M per mole of sulphate. It has markedly different effects on the thermodynamic stabilities of states N and H, making delta G'N-H, O and delta G'H-U, O more negative by 41 kJ mol and 20 kJ mole, respectively, per mole of ammonium sulphate. The change in equilibrium constant for the N-H transition is reflected almost exclusively in a dramatic change of the unfolding rate constant, which is decreased by a factor of 10(11) on addition of 1.4 M-sulphate. The presence of the substrate benzyl penicillin has little effect on the equilibria or kinetics of the N-H transition. The results are discussed in terms of the nature of the N-H transition and of the ordering of intermediate states on the folding pathway.[1]


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