Biochimica et biophysica acta

Homotropic cooperative binding of organic solvent vapors by solid trypsin.

PMID 11342057


Homotropic cooperative binding was observed at vapor sorption of organic solvents (acetonitrile, propionitrile, ethanol, 1-propanol, 2-propanol, nitroethane) by dried solid trypsin from porcine pancreas (0.05 g H2O/g protein). The vapor sorption isotherms were obtained by the static method of gas chromatographic headspace analysis at 298 K for 'vapor solvent+solid trypsin' systems in the absence of the liquid phase. All isotherms have a sigmoidal shape with significant sorbate uptake only above the threshold of sorbate thermodynamic activity. On the sorption isotherms of non-hydroxylic sorbates the saturation of trypsin by organic solvent was observed above the sorbate threshold activity. The formation of inclusion compounds with phase transition between solvent-free and solvent-saturated trypsin is supposed. Approximation of obtained isotherms by the Hill equation gives the inclusion stoichiometry S, inclusion free energy, and the Hill constant N of clathrates. The inclusion stoichiometry S depends significantly on the size and shape of sorbate molecules and changes from S=31 mol of sorbate per mol of trypsin for ethanol to S=6 for nitroethane. The inclusion free energies determined for the standard states of pure liquid sorbate and infinitely dilute solution in toluene are in the range from -0.5 to -1.2 kJ/mol and from -3.1 to -8.1 kJ/mol, respectively, per 1 mol of sorbate. The Hill constants are relatively high: from N=5.6 for 1-propanol to N approximately equal to 10(3) for nitroethane. The implication of the obtained results for the interpretation of solvent effects on the enzyme activity and stability in low-water medium is discussed.

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