Structural analysis of denaturant-protein interactions: Comparison between the effects of bromoethanol and SDS on denaturation and renaturation of triclinic lysozyme

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This paper summarizes our crystallographic studies of the interaction of denaturants with cross-linked triclinic lysozyme. Electron density maps of various bromoethanol-lysozyme complexes are analyzed and compared to those reported earlier for SDS-lysozyme complexes. Despite differences in the chemical nature and size of the two denaturants their mode of interaction with the protein is quite similar, suggesting the existence of a general mechanism for binding of hydrophobic-hydrophilic denaturants to proteins. Our results are consistent with the conclusion that lysozyme consists of two domains connected by a flexible segment and that this segment represents an internal degree of freedom of the protein.

The work was carried out during the tenure of a fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization
We are grateful to Dr. Gerson Cohen for providing us with his data processing programs, to Drs. David Haas, Paul Sigler, Thomas Creighton and Micael James for helpful discussions, and to Mr. Samuel Getteno for his invaluable technical assistance.