Dynamics of Saxitoxin Binding to Saxiphilin C-Lobe Reveals Conformational Change

Toxicon. 2008 Feb;51(2):208-17. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2007.09.012. Epub 2007 Oct 9.


Thermodynamic parameters (DeltaG, DeltaH, DeltaS, DeltaC(p)) have been determined to evaluate the dynamics of binding of saxitoxin to the c-lobe of saxiphilin. We have developed an improved method to rapidly express and purify recombinant saxiphilin c-lobe, and fully characterized it by mass spectrometry for the first time. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was used to characterize the interaction between saxitoxin and immobilized c-lobe. At 298 K, c-lobe binds saxitoxin with K(D)=1.2 nM, DeltaH degrees =-11.7+/-0.8 kcal/mol, and DeltaS degrees =1.17+/-0.07 cal/molK. Analysis of DeltaC(p) of toxin association at several temperatures suggests that hydrophobic forces contribute to the binding event. Additionally, changes in 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid (ANS) fluorescence upon binding to c-lobe in the presence and absence of saxitoxin support a conformational change in c-lobe upon saxitoxin binding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Poisons / chemistry*
  • Saxitoxin / chemistry*
  • Shellfish
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Thermodynamics


  • Poisons
  • Saxitoxin