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Abstract  

A narrow, reversible endothermic main transition is found in the aqueous micellar phase of octaethylene glycol tetradecyl ether (C14E8) by DSC, characterized by a transition temperature of 41°C and a H value of 0.5 kcal mol–1, which is not observed by light scattering. This transition is assigned to a cooperative conformational rearrangement of the assembled amphiphilic detergent molecules and not to a micelle aggregation process. It is suggested that the detergents polar head group is primarily involved in this rearrangement.

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Abstract  

Microcalorimetric titrations allow to recognize and investigate high-affinity ligand binding to Na,K-ATPase. Titrations with the cardiac glycoside Ouabain, which acts as a specific inhibitor of the enzyme, have provided not only the thermodynamic parameters of high-affinity binding with a stoichiometric coefficient of about 0.6 but also evidence for low-affinity binding to the lipid. The marked enthalpic contribution of -95 kJ mol-1 at 298.2 K is partially compensated by a large negative entropy change, attributed to an increased interaction between water and the protein. The calorimetric ADP and ATP titrations at 298.2 K are indicative of high-affinity nucleotide binding either in 3 mM NaCl, 3 mM MgCl2 or at high ionic strength such as 120 mM choline chloride. However, no binding is detected in the buffer solution alone at low ionic strength. The affinities for ADP and ATP are similar, around 106 M-1 and the stoichiometric coefficients are close to that of Ouabain binding. The exothermic binding of ADP is characterized by a ΔH and ΔS value of -65 kJ mol-1 and -100 J mol-1 K-1, respectively. TheΔH value for ATP binding is larger than for ADP and is compensated by a larger, unfavorable ΔS value. This leads to an enthalpy/entropy compensation, which could express that H-bond formation represents the major type of interaction. As for Ouabain, the negative ΔS values that are also characteristic of nucleotide binding can indicate an increase of solvate interaction with the protein due to a conformational transition occurring subsequent to the binding process. The resulting binding constants are discussed with regard to the results of other studies employing different techniques. A molecular interaction model for nucleotide binding is suggested.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: E. Grell, E. Lewitzki, R. Schneider, G. Ilgenfritz, I. Grillo, and M. von Raumer

Abstract  

Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) studies of micellar, 60 mM solutions of the octaethyleneglycol alkylethers C14E8 and C16E8 provide evidence for a narrow endothermic transition at 41 and 32C,respectively, characterized by an enthalpy change of 2 kJ mol−1 for both detergents. The observed thermal transition is indicative of a concerted transition of the surfactant molecules, as illustrated on the basis of a simple molecular model. The effect of co-solvents such as different alcohols on the thermal transition is investigated. Glycerol markedly lowers the transition temperature whereas the transition is absent in the presence of at least 10% ethanol. The calorimetric transition correlates with the temperature dependent increase of viscosity and static light scattering as well as with changes observed by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The SANS results provide clear evidence for a distinct structural change occurring at the transition temperature, which is interpreted as a sphere-to-rod transition of the detergent micelles. Moreover, the rod length increases with increasing temperature. We suggest that the process causing the thermal transition acts as the prerequisite of the growth process.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: E. Grell, A. Geoffroy, M. Stolz, E. Lewitzki, and M. von Raumer

Abstract  

Molecular functions and structural changes of membrane proteins in an aqueous environment can be elucidated by reaction-induced FTIR difference spectroscopy upon photolysis of caged compounds. The achieved detection of IR band changes even due to single amino acid residues is, however, only possible in the presence of very high protein concentrations, implying that a low water content must be present. In general, the films are formed by controlled dehydration of membrane protein suspensions at reduced pressure and low temperature. For the retention of enzymatic activity of Na,K-ATPase, for example, a cosolvent such as glycerol is required. In order to interprete the results obtained by FTIR spectroscopy, it is important to know whether essential properties of the proteins such as hydration are changed upon film formation. Therefore, a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) study has been carried out with purified Na,K-ATPase and Ca-ATPase in suspension, in form of pellets obtained by high-speed ultracentrifugation and in thin films. As relevant thermoanalytical properties, the endothermic denaturation transitions of the proteins have been studied. For Na,K-ATPase in the presence of 20% glycerol as cosolvent, a single, comparatively narrow endothermic and irreversible denaturation transition with a denaturation enthalpy of about 1.7 MJ mol−1 and transition temperatures of about 65 and 70°C is found in concentrated suspension and in the state of the pellet, respectively. In the case of thin films suitable for IR spectroscopy, a characteristic change is observed in a reproducible manner. The enthalpy change of the remaining transition around 70°C is reduced but an additional transition at about 77°C is observed. Based on control experiments, the new high temperature transition is attributed to a partially dehydrated state of the protein. Furthermore, a comparatively broad endothermic transition around 20°C is found under conditions of high protein concentrations (film), which is tentatively assigned to a transition of the lipid environment of this integral membrane protein. Similar results are found for Ca-ATPase films. In the absence of glycerol, the deoxycholate treated enzyme in suspension exhibits a narrow endothermic main transition at 52°C with a denaturation enthalpy around 0.9 MJ mol−1. For the film of this protein, two almost equally large endothermic transitions are found at 59 and 77°C. Also here, the data are characteristic of partial protein dehydration. These results show clearly that DSC can easily be applied in a sensitive manner to control and characterize the integrity and hydration properties of concentrated protein samples in thin films.

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