Aug 12, 1976

Denaturation of subtilisin BPN' and its derivatives in aqueous guanidine hydrochloride solutions

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
A Ikai


The denaturation of subtilisin BPN' (EC in guanidine hydrochloride was studied in order to find possible reasons for the exceptional stability of this enzyme against the action of denaturing agents including guanidine hydrochloride. Chemically modified subtilisins, i.e., phenylmethanesulfonylsubtilisin and thio-subtilisin, were completely denatured in 2 M guanidine hydrochloride at pH 7 without autolysis but they were stable in 0.5 M guanidine hydrochloride for at least 60 h. On the other hand, once completely denatured, the subtilisins remained inactive and in highly unfolded conformations for 60 h or longer after transfer into 0.5 M guanidine solution at pH 7 or 9. No enzymatic activity was regained when the guanidine concentration was lowered to almost zero. We concluded from these and other results described in this paper that this enzyme was thermodynamically unstable in 2 M guanidine hydrochloride at 20 degrees C and at pH 7. We wish to point out the possibility that the denaturation of this enzyme could indeed be irreversible.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cathepsin G
Sulfhydryl Compounds
Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Protein Conformation

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