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Contribution of the 6-120 disulfide bond of alpha-lactalbumin to the stabilities of its native and molten globule states


Contribution of the 6-120 disulfide bond of alpha-lactalbumin to the stabilities of its native and molten globule states



Biochemistry 31(50): 12695-12700



ISSN/ISBN: 0006-2960

PMID: 1472507

DOI: 10.1021/bi00165a021

The unfolding and refolding of a derivative of alpha-lactalbumin, in which the disulfide bond between Cys6 and Cys120 is selectively reduced and S-carboxymethylated, are investigated by equilibrium and kinetic circular dichroism measurements. The native conformation of this derivative is known to be essentially identical to that of intact alpha-lactalbumin. The equilibrium unfolding of the derivative involves a stable intermediate, which is also similar to the molten globule state of the disulfide intact protein. The results of stopped-flow circular dichroism experiments show that the same intermediate is formed rapidly as a transient intermediate in kinetic refolding. The conformational stabilities for the native and intermediate states have been estimated and compared with the stabilities for the corresponding states of intact alpha-lactalbumin. The stabilization of the native state by the disulfide has been interpreted in terms of a decrease in chain entropy in the unfolded state and elimination of the strain imposed on the disulfide bond in the native state. The molten globule state is also stabilized by the disulfide bond, although the degree of stabilization of the molten globule state is smaller than of the native state. The results suggest that, in the molten globule state, some ordered structures are present within the loop moiety formed by the 6-120 disulfide.

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Accession: 008383925

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