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Effects of neutral salts on the circular dichroism spectra of ribonuclease A and ribonuclease S

, : Effects of neutral salts on the circular dichroism spectra of ribonuclease A and ribonuclease S. Biophysical Chemistry 17(2): 111-118

The circular dichroism (CD) spectra of ribonuclease A, ribonuclease S, and N-acetyltyrosineamide were recorded as a function of pH in the presence of various concentrations of inorganic salts. Above pH 9.0 salting-in of tyrosine residues increases their intramolecular associations. This association enhances the contribution from these residues to the CD spectrum leading to an apparent titration curve that is shifted toward lower pH. The data indicate that unfolding of ribonuclease A and S by inorganic salts does not begin with disrupting existing electrostatic interactions. But, as the unfolding process progresses, disruption of electrostatic interactions may take place. This is consistent with our previous calorimetric studies which suggest that unfolding of ribonuclease A by salts proceeds initially by energetically favorable solvation of the folded protein. An increase in ellipiticity at 275 nm of partially unfolded protein in salt was observed as the pH was changed from 7.0 to 4.0. This observation may suggest that the isothermal unfolding of the protein by salts at low pH proceeds through an intermediate step which involves histidine residues and causes a conformational change in the tyrosine's asymmetric environment.


PMID: 6838987

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