Bovine eye lens α-crystallin was covalently labeled with 6-bromomethyl-4′-diethylamino-3-hydroxyflavone and studied under native-like conditions and at the elevated temperature (60°C) that is known to facilitate α-crystallin chaperone-like activity. This novel SH-reactive two-band ratiometric fluorescent probe is characterized by two highly emissive N*- and T*-bands; the latter appears due to excited state intramolecular proton transfer reaction. The positions of these bands and the ratio of their intensities for the α-crystallin-dye conjugate are the sensitive indicators of polarity of the dye environment and its participation in intermolecular hydrogen bonding. Although we found that the dye labels both the SH and the NH2 groups in α-crystallin, a recently developed procedure allowed us to distinguish between the heat-induced spectral changes of the dye molecules attached to SH and NH2 groups. We observed that at elevated temperature the environment of the SH-attached dye becomes more polar and flexible. The number of H-bond acceptor groups in the vicinity of the dye decreases. Since α-crystallin contains a single Cys residue within the C-terminal domain of its αA subunit (the αB subunit contains none), we can attribute the observed effects to temperature-induced changes in the C-terminal domain of this protein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry