Thermal unfolding and aggregation of human complement protein C9: a differential scanning calorimetry study.


The thermotropic behavior of purified human complement protein C9 was investigated by high-sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry. When dissolved in physiological buffers (pH 7.2, 150 mM NaCl), C9 underwent three endothermic transitions with transition temperatures (Tm) centered at about 32, 48, and 53 degrees C, respectively, and one exothermic transition above 64 degrees C that correlated with protein aggregation. The associated calorimetric enthalpies of the three endothermic transitions were about 45, 60, and 161 kcal/mol with cooperative ratios (delta Hcal/delta HvH) close to unity. The total calorimetric enthalphy for the unfolding process was in the range of 260-280 kcal/mol under all conditions. The exothermic aggregation temperature was strongly pH dependent, changing from 60 degrees C at pH 6.6 to 81.4 degrees C at pH 8.0, whereas none of the three endothermic transitions was significantly affected by pH changes. They were, however, sensitive to addition of calcium ions; most affected was Tm1 which shifted from 32 to 35.8 degrees C in the presence of 3 mM calcium, i.e., the normal blood concentration. Kosmotropic ions stabilized the protein by shifting the endothermic transitions to slightly higher temperatures whereas inclusion of chaotropic ions (such as choline), removal of bound calcium by addition of EDTA, or proteolysis with thrombin lowered the transition temperatures. Previous studies had indicated the formation of at least three different forms of C9 during membrane insertion or during heat polymerization, and it is suggested that the three endothermic transitions reflect the formation of such C9 conformers. Choline, which is present at high concentrations on the surface of biological membranes, and calcium ions have the ability to shift the transition temperatures of the first two transitions to be either close to or below body temperature. Thus, it is very likely that C9 is present in vivo in a partially unfolded state when bound to a membrane surface, and we propose that this facilitates membrane insertion and refolding of the protein into an amphiphilic conformation. Study holds ProTherm entries: 4354, 4355, 4356, 4357, 4358, 4359, 4360, 4361, 4362, 4363, 4364, 4365 Extra Details:

Submission Details


Submitter: Connie Wang

Submission Date: April 24, 2018, 8:25 p.m.

Version: 1

Publication Details
Lohner K;Esser AF,Biochemistry (1991) Thermal unfolding and aggregation of human complement protein C9: a differential scanning calorimetry study. PMID:2054360
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