Disulfide bonds and thermal stability in T4 lysozyme.


Disulfide bonds are thought to serve a stabilizing role in extracellular globular proteins, but little is known about the modes of stabilization or their mechanisms. Thermodynamic data presented here demonstrate that an engineered 3-97 disulfide bond previously shown to stabilize T4 lysozyme in vitro against irreversible thermal inactivation also stabilizes the molecule against reversible thermal unfolding. In this paper, we explore the relationship between the disulfide's thermodynamic contribution to protein folding and its role in providing resistance to irreversible thermal inactivation. In T4 lysozyme (C54V/C97S), a non-crosslinked mutant lacking the two cysteines found in the wild type, sensitivity toward irreversible thermal inactivation increases dramatically at temperatures above the melting temperature of the molecule. In addition, most of the lost activity can be restored by denaturation/renaturation with guanidine hydrochloride. In contrast, the crosslinked mutant T4 lysozyme (13C-97C/C54V) inactivates relatively slowly, even above its melting temperature, and the lost activity is not restored by denaturation/renaturation. These observations suggest that the predominant inactivation pathways for non-crosslinked T4 lysozymes are conformation related, while those for the crosslinked variant are insensitive to the conformational route and thus are susceptible only to slower processes of a chemical nature. We also show that multiple mutants, constructed to contain the 3-97 disulfide plus a temperature-sensitive lesion, are more stable than the wild type to irreversible inactivation even though they are less stable to reversible thermal unfolding. These findings together suggest that the 3-97 disulfide provides stability to irreversible inactivation primarily via a pathway that is independent of its thermodynamic contribution. The 3-97 disulfide may stabilize T4 lysozyme by restricting the unfolded state to a class of more compact structures with less exposed hydrophobic surface, compared to the unfolded states of non-crosslinked T4 lysozymes. The results have implications both for the use of the stabilizing potential of disulfide bonds in protein engineering and for their roles in protein function and evolution. Study holds ProTherm entries: 1328, 1329, 1330, 1331, 1332, 1333, 13685, 13686, 13687, 13688, 13689 Extra Details: All measurements are with 0.2M KCl folding thermodynamics; irreversible inactivation;,protein engineering; protein evolution

Submission Details

ID: o7DP9vfx3

Submitter: Connie Wang

Submission Date: April 24, 2018, 8:17 p.m.

Version: 1

Publication Details
Wetzel R;Perry LJ;Baase WA;Becktel WJ,Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1988) Disulfide bonds and thermal stability in T4 lysozyme. PMID:3277175
Additional Information

Structure view and single mutant data analysis

Study data

No weblogo for data of varying length.
Colors: D E R H K S T N Q A V I L M F Y W C G P

Data Distribution

Studies with similar sequences (approximate matches)

Correlation with other assays (exact sequence matches)

Relevant UniProtKB Entries

Percent Identity Matching Chains Protein Accession Entry Name
100.0 Endolysin P00720 ENLYS_BPT4