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.