Biochimica et biophysica acta

Thermodynamic studies on anion binding to apotransferrin and to recombinant transferrin N-lobe half molecules.

PMID 10082955


Equilibrium constants for the binding of anions to apotransferrin, to the recombinant N-lobe half transferrin molecule (Tf/2N), and to a series of mutants of Tf/2N have been determined by difference UV titrations of samples in 0.1 M Hepes buffer at pH 7.4 and 25 degrees C. The anions included in this study are phosphate, sulfate, bicarbonate, pyrophosphate, methylenediphosphonic acid, and ethylenediphosphonic acid. There are no significant differences between anion binding to Tf/2N and anion binding to the N-lobe of apotransferrin. The binding of simple anions like phosphate appears to be essentially equivalent for the two apotransferrin binding sites. The binding of pyrophosphate and the diphosphonates is inequivalent, and the studies on the recombinant Tf/2N show that the stronger binding is associated with the N-terminal site. Anion binding constants for phosphate, pyrophosphate, and the diphosphonates with the N-lobe mutants K206A, K296A, and R124A have been determined. Anion binding tends to be weakest for the K296A mutant, but the variation in log K values among the three mutants is surprisingly small. It appears that the side chains of K206, K296, and R124 all make comparable contributions to anion binding. There are significant variations in the intensities of the peaks in the difference UV spectra that are generated by the titrations of the mutant apoproteins with these anions. These differences appear to be related more to variations in the molar extinction coefficients of the anion-protein complexes rather than to differences in binding constants.