Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract In order to determine the effect of chemical modification of the ε-amino groups on the secondary structure of ovalbumin, we prepared six acetylated (17, 36, 54, 70, 82, and 98%) and four succinylated derivatives (25, 50, 72, and 97%) of the protein. Native ovalbumin and the acylated derivatives were homogeneous as revealed by the electrophoretic pattern. The UV-absorption and fluorescence spectra changed progressively with the extent of modification. However, circular dichroic (CD) studies indicated that acylation of 15 of the 20 lysine residues had little effect on the secondary structure of ovalbumin. Acylation of the remaining five lysine residues resulted in a fairly severe change in the secondary structure. The α-helical content decreased from about 31% in the native state to 16.5% in the 97% succinylated ovalbumin and to 21.5% in the 98% acetylated derivative. A comparison of these data with the spectral and hydrodynamic data of Qasim and Salahuddin (1978) suggested that the secondary structure of ovalbumin is more resistant to acylation than is the tertiary structure and, thus, the tertiary and the secondary structures are, to some extent, mutually independent. Raising thepH to 11.2 did not alter the secondary structure of ovalbumin and increasing the ionic strength by more than 20-fold did not reverse the loss of helical structure in 97% succinylated protein. These two observations suggest that the change in secondary structure upon maximal acylation may not only involve electrostatic effects, but also certain other factors, such as steric hindrance due to the entering bulky groups.
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