Journal of biochemistry and molecular biology

Thermodynamic analysis of the low- to physiological-temperature nondenaturational conformational change of bovine carbonic anhydrase.

PMID 17394770


The stability curve - a plot of the Gibbs free energy of unfolding versus temperature - is calculated for bovine erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase in 150 mM sodium phosphate (pH = 7.0) from a combination of reversible differential scanning calorimetry measurements and isothermal guanidine hydrochloride titrations. The enzyme possesses two stable folded conformers with the conformational transition occurring at ~30 degrees C. The methodology yields a stability curve for the complete unfolding of the enzyme below this temperature but only the partial unfolding, to the molten globule state, above it. The transition state thermodynamics for the low- to physiological-temperature conformational change are calculated from slow-scan-rate differential scanning calorimetry measurements where it is found that the free energy barrier for the conversion is 90 kJ/mole and the transition state possesses a substantial unfolding quality. The data therefore suggest that the x-ray structure may differ considerably from the physiological structure and that the two conformers are not readily interconverted.

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