The ability of actin to form filaments is fundamental to its biological function and often characterised by various methods in vitro. One of the most frequently used methods capitalises on the observation that the fluorescence emission of a pyrene label on the Cys-374 residue of actin is enhanced by a factor of ∼20 during polymerisation. This method inherently involves the chemical modification of actin monomers with pyrene. It was reported earlier that the pyrene labelling of actin monomers has only small effect on the polymerisation and depolymerisation rates of actin, indicating that the method is suitable to characterise the effect of actin-binding proteins or peptides on the polymerisation kinetics. In our present work we tested the effect of the pyrene labelling on the thermal denaturation of actin filaments by using the method of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). By recording the heat denaturation profiles of unlabelled and pyrene labelled actin filaments we observed that pyrene labelling shifted the melting point (Tm) of actin filaments from 66 to 68 °C. A similar effect was detected in the presence of equimolar concentration of phalloidin where the Tm shifted from 79 to 82 °C. We concluded that the observed pyrene labelling induced differences of the thermal denaturation of actin filaments were small. The DSC results, therefore, confirmed that the methods based on the measurements of pyrene intensity during actin polymerisation are suitable to characterise the polymerisation kinetics of actin under in vitro conditions.
- Protein conformation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry