International journal of peptide and protein research

pH-dependent changes in properties of concanavalin A in the acid pH range.

PMID 6519918


Properties characteristic of the structure and function of dimeric concanavalin A have been studied as a function of pH in the acid pH range using preparations comprising intact subunits or enriched in fragmented chains. For intact subunits, the glycogen binding ability falls to zero with a midpoint of pH 4.7, the release of Mn+2, Ca+2 and the fluorescent ligand 4-methylumbelliferyl-alpha-D-mannopyranoside from the lectin coincides over a pH range centered at pH 3.9, and the CD spectra of the aromatic amino acid residues increase sharply in amplitude between pH 4.0 and 1.5. Nevertheless, the sedimentation coefficient and peptide CD spectrum change insignificantly in the pH range 5 to 2, indicating that dimeric concanavalin A retains its secondary structure and overall hydrodynamic shape essentially unchanged upon acidification. The behavior of concanavalin comprising primarily fragmented chains is not significantly different from that of intact subunits, although it precipitates glycogen less efficiently. It is concluded that dimeric concanavalin A does not undergo a concerted change in structure upon acidification, but rather that it passes through a series of states differing from one another in their local conformations. The distinction in binding between the monosaccharide and the polysaccharide is attributed to participation of a secondary binding site in the latter case. A change in optical activity at 283 nm in the pH range 5-6 is ascribed to disruption of intersubunit interactions of Tyr 67 as the protein undergoes the dimer-tetramer equilibrium.

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4-Methylumbelliferyl β-D-mannopyranoside, ≥98% (TLC)