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A Native Disulfide Stabilizes Non-Native Helical Structures in Partially Folded States of Equine β-Lactoglobulin

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journal contribution
posted on 13.12.2011, 00:00 by Mio Yamamoto, Kanako Nakagawa, Kazuo Fujiwara, Akio Shimizu, Mitsunori Ikeguchi, Masamichi Ikeguchi
Equine β-lactoglobulin (ELG) assumes non-native helices during refolding and in partially folded states. Previously, circular dichroism (CD) combined with site-directed mutagenesis identified helical regions in the acid- and cold-denatured states of ELG. It is also known that a fragment of ELG, CHIBL (residues 88–142), has a structure similar to that of the cold-denatured state. For the study reported herein, the structure of a shorter fragment, CHIBLΔF (residues 97–142), was investigated by CD and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The secondary chemical shifts clearly showed that non-native α-helices are present in two different regions, residues 98–107 and 114–135, and are connected by a native disulfide bond. The CD spectra of two peptides that correspond to the helical regions are characterized by weak helical signatures, and the sum of their CD spectra is nearly the same as the spectrum of disulfide-reduced CHIBLΔF. Therefore, the non-native helices are stabilized by the disulfide, and non-native helix formation may occur only during the refolding of the disulfide-intact protein. Supporting this conclusion is the observation that tear lipocalin, a homologue of ELG that lacks the disulfide, does not form non-native helices during folding.