Engineered single-chain monellin (SCM) proteins were constructed by recombinant technology without disrupting the topology and sweet activity of native protein. Data from 8-anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid fluorescence, size-exclusion chromatography, and heteronuclear NMR strongly suggest the presence of a folding intermediate at 1.5 M GdnHCl for SCM protein. The structural feature of the folding intermediate from NMR data reveals that the secondary structures became mostly unstable, and protein experiences a dynamic equilibrium between native and unfolded state. All backbone amide protons exchange within 10 min, which imply that no stable hydrogen bonds exist in the secondary structural regions in the folding intermediate. From equilibrium unfolding and mutagenesis studies, the unfolding transition midpoints of mutant proteins gradually shifted toward lower denaturant concentration, indicating stability reductions of mutant proteins. Our results suggest that stability and folding pathways of SCM proteins could be regulated by a combined study of spectroscopy and mutagenesis, and these studies will provide useful information for understanding the folding kinetics of novel engineered proteins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology