Enthalpy of Stabilization of the Structure Hen's Egg Lysozyme in Aqueous Solutions of Dimethyl Sulphoxide

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Scanning microcalorimetry data have been used to plot the dependences of the denaturation enthalpy of hen egg lysozyme on dimethylsulfoxide concentration at fixed temperatures. It has been shown that at dimethylsulfoxide concentrations below 40% (v/v) the enthalpy does not depend on pH of the medium. An increase of dimethylsulfoxide concentrations in this range leads to a linear growth of enthalpy. The rate of enthalpy growth decreases with the temperature increase. The denaturation enthalpy begins to considerably depend on pH at dimethylsulfoxide concentrations more than 40%. Spectroscopy data indicate that conformational changes occur in the protein in this range of concentrations already at room temperature, whereas according to scanning microcalorimetry, they take place at much higher temperatures. This difference is probably due to a decrease of the real temperature of protein melting below room temperature and a very inhibited character of the denaturational transition. This results in a decrease of calorimetric enthalpy at acidic pH owing to incomplete protein renaturation upon calorimeter cooling to the starting point.


Biophysics, Vol. 41, No. 3 (May-June 1996): 547-553. Publisher URL: http://www.springer.com/physics/biophysics+%26+biological+physics/journal/11439.