The physical properties and conformational dynamics of the Salmonella typhimurium ribose and galactose receptors have been examined. Studies involving circular dichroism, fluorescence, absorption spectroscopy, and sedimentation analysis show that the two receptor proteins have different morphologies and exhibit diverse responses to sugar binding. The ribose receptor lacks both tryptophan and disulfide residues, and the galactose receptor lacks disulfides and has only a single tryptophan residue. By virtue of these fortuitous properties, the conformational changes induced in these proteins by sugar binding can be dissected by utilizing a variety of physical probes. A ligand-induced conformational change in the ribose receptor is shown by circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy, which reveal spectral changes assignable to tyrosine, phenylalanine, and methionine residues. A conformational change in the galactose receptor has been demonstrated by fluorescence spectroscopy involving the distant reporter group method, which shows changes assignable to tryptophan and methionine sites and which is corroborated by sedimentation analysis. It is clear that there are extensive conformational changes in the two receptor proteins and that the different physical methods provide complementary information on the nature of these changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas