O2 penetration and proton burial depth in proteins: Applicability to fold family recognition

Griselda Hernández, Ching Ling Teng, Robert G. Bryant, David M. LeMaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Paramagnetically induced relaxation effects of O2 and the nitroxide 4-hydroxy TEMPO were measured for the amide protons of perdeuterated rubredoxin from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus and the mesophilic bacterium Clostridium pasteurianum. For both O2 and the impermeant nitroxide, the induced relaxation at the static solvent inaccessible amide sites is dominated by long-range interactions with the paramagnetic species in the bulk aqueous phase. The upper bound of O2 solubility in the internal matrix of the rubredoxins is one-tenth that of the bulk aqueous phase. Furthermore, the difference between the oxygen solubilities inside the two rubredoxins is at most 1% that of bulk water O2 solubility, suggesting that there are only modest differences in this measure of fluidity for the mesophile vs hyperthermophile protein interiors. Calculations based on the assumption of a paramagnet uniformly distributed on the protein exterior yield accurate predictions at nearly all amide sites for the minimum relaxation value observed from either the O2 or nitroxide data. Model calculations indicate that the readily obtained paramagnetically induced relaxation effects should prove effective in recognition of structural homology for proteins that are too widely diverged for sequence-based recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4463-4472
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 24 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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