Some physico-chemical properties of R140G and K141Q mutants of human small heat shock protein HspB1 associated with hereditary peripheral neuropathy were analyzed. Mutation K141Q did not affect intrinsic Trp fluorescence and interaction with hydrophobic probe bis-ANS, whereas mutation R140G decreased both intrinsic fluorescence and fluorescence of bis-ANS bound to HspB1. Both mutations decreased thermal stability of HspB1. Mutation R140G increased, whereas mutation K141Q decreased the rate of trypsinolysis of the central part (residues 5-188) of HspB1. Both the wild type HspB1 and its K141Q mutant formed large oligomers with apparent molecular weight ∼560 kDa. The R140G mutant formed two types of oligomers, i.e. large oligomers tending to aggregate and small oligomers with apparent molecular weight ∼70 kDa. The wild type HspB1 formed mixed homooligomers with R140G mutant with apparent molecular weight ∼610 kDa. The R140G mutant was unable to form high molecular weight heterooligomers with HspB6, whereas the K141Q mutant formed two types of heterooligomers with HspB6. In vitro measured chaperone-like activity of the wild type HspB1 was comparable with that of K141Q mutant and was much higher than that of R140G mutant. Mutations of homologous hot-spot Arg (R140G of HspB1 and R120G of αB-crystallin) induced similar changes in the properties of two small heat shock proteins, whereas mutations of two neighboring residues (R140 and K141) induced different changes in the properties of HspB1.
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