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.