Comparative study of the stability of poplar plastocyanin isoforms

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Apr 15;1748(1):116-27. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2004.12.012. Epub 2005 Jan 11.


The stability of the two isoforms of poplar plastocyanin (PCa and PCb) was studied with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) technique. It was shown that the thermal unfolding of both isoforms is an irreversible process with two endothermic and one exothermic peaks. The melting temperature of PCb was found to be 1.3+/-0.2 K degrees higher than of PCa, which indicates that PCb is more stable. The enthalpy of unfolding was estimated from the heat capacity curves and was found to be significantly higher for PCb at salt concentration I=0.1 M. In addition, PCb unfolding enthalpy and melting temperature are much more sensitive to the changes in the salt concentration as found in the experiments done at different ionic strength. The experiments were complemented with numerical calculations. The salt effect on the stability was modeled using the X-ray structure of PCa and a homology modeled structure of PCb. It was found, in agreement with the experimental data, that the stability of PCb changes by 4.7 kJ more than PCa, as the salt concentration increases from zero to 0.1 M. Thus, the differences in only 12 amino acid positions between "a" and "b" isoforms result in a measurable difference in the folding enthalpy and a significant difference in the salt dependence. The optimization of the electrostatic energies of PCa and PCb were studied and it was shown that PCb is better electrostatically optimized.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Plastocyanin / chemistry*
  • Plastocyanin / metabolism
  • Populus / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry*
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Static Electricity
  • Temperature


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Plastocyanin