Feb 12, 1985

Unusual chemical properties of N-terminal histidine residues of glucagon and vasoactive intestinal peptide

M A HeffordH Kaplan


An N-terminal histidine residue of a protein or peptide has two functional groups, viz., an alpha-amino group and an imidazole group. A new procedure, based on the competitive labeling approach described by Duggleby and Kaplan [Duggleby, R. G., & Kaplan, H. (1975) Biochemistry 14, 5168-5175], has been developed by which the chemical reactivity of each functional group in such a residue can be determined as a function of pH. Only very small amounts of material are required, which makes it possible to determine the chemical properties in dilute solution or in proteins and polypeptides that can be obtained in only minute quantities. With this approach, the reactivity of the alpha-amino group of histidylglycine toward 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene gave an apparent pKa value of 7.64 +/- 0.07 at 37 degrees C, in good agreement with a value of 7.69 +/- 0.02 obtained by acid-base titration. However, the reactivity of the imidazole function gave an apparent pKa value of 7.16 +/- 0.07 as compared to the pKa value of 5.85 +/- 0.01 obtained by acid-base titration. Similarly, in glucagon and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), apparent pKa values of 7.60 +/- 0.04 and 7.88 +/- 0.18, respectively, were obtained for the alpha-amino of their N-t...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Carbon Radioisotopes
Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
Plasma Protein Binding Capacity
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration

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