Detection of local polarity and conformational changes at the active site of rabbit muscle creatine kinase with a new arginine-specific fluorescent probe.
ABSTRACT A new polarity-sensitive fluorescent probe, 3-(4-chloro-6-p-glyoxal-phenoxy-1,3,5-triazinylamino)-7-(dimethylamino)-2-methylphenazine (CGTDP), is synthesized for selective labeling of active-site arginine residues. The probe comprises a neutral red moiety as a polarity-sensitive fluorophore and a phenylglyoxal unit as an arginine-specific labeling group. The probe exhibits a sensitive response of shift of fluorescence maximum emission wavelength to solvent polarity only instead of pH or temperature, which leads to the use of the probe in detecting the local polarity and conformational changes of the active site of rabbit muscle creatine kinase (CK) denatured by pH or temperature. The polarity of the active site domain has been first found to correspond to a dielectric constant of about 44, and the conformational change of the active site directly revealed by CGTDP occurs far before that of CK as a whole disclosed by the intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence during acid or thermal denaturation. The present strategy may provide a useful method to detect the local polarity and conformational changes of the active sites of many enzymes that employ arginine residues as anion recognition sites under different denaturation conditions.