Mutant forms of staphylococcal nuclease with altered patterns of guanidine hydrochloride and urea denaturation

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Eleven mutant forms of staphylococcal nuclease with one or more defined amino acid substitutions have been analyzed by solvent denaturation by using intrinsic fluorescence to follow the denaturation reaction. On the basis of patterns observed in the value of m–the rate of change of log Kapp (the apparent equilibrium constant between the native and denatured states) with denaturant concentration—these proteins can be grouped into two classes. For class I mutants, the value of m with guanidine hydrochloride is less than the wild‐type value and is either constant or increases slightly with increasing denaturant; the value of m with urea is also less than wild type but shows a marked increase with increasing denaturant concentration, often approaching but never exceeding the wild‐type value. For class II mutants, m is constant and is greater than wild type in both denaturants, with the increase being consistently larger in guanidine hydrochloride than in urea. When double or triple mutants are constructed from members of the same mutant class, the change in m is usually the sum of the changes produced by each mutation in isolation. One plausible explanation for these altered patterns of denaturation is that chain‐chain or chain‐solvent interactions in the denatured state have been modified—interactions which appear to involve hydrophobic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalProteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986


  • denatured state
  • protein denaturation
  • protein stability
  • structural intermediates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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