Stepwise Characterization of the Thermodynamics of Trichocyte Intermediate Filament Protein Supramolecular Assembly

Medical Proteomics Laboratory, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.
Journal of Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 4.33). 03/2011; 408(5):832-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2011.03.034
Source: PubMed


Trichocyte intermediate filament protein (IFP) is a heterodimeric complex that plays a pivotal role in the hair shaft for its mechanical strength, hair shape, and so on. Trichocyte IFP consists of acidic-type IFP and basic-type IFP, and the well-studied supramolecular assembly process of the complex occurs via the following steps: dimer formation, tetramer formation, formation of the lateral 32mer, and the elongation of the 32mer. Among these interactions, only the dimer formation, owing to coiled-coil interaction, has been described in detail; the nature of other interactions remains unspecified. For each assembly step, we report interaction isotherms obtained by means of isothermal titration calorimetry at various urea and NaCl concentrations. Decreasing the urea concentration generally promotes protein refolding, and we therefore expected to observe endothermic interactions owing to the refolding process. However, exothermic interactions were observed at 4 and 2 M urea, along with various characteristic endothermic interactions at the other urea concentrations as well as NaCl titration. The thermal responses described herein enabled us to analyze the protein supramolecular assembly process in a stepwise manner.

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