The conformational changes in the thermal denaturation of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A was followed with infrared spectra and analyzed by second derivative and two-dimensional correlation techniques. By analyzing the sequential events in each transition stage, the results were consistent with a step-wise thermal denaturation mechanism in which the structural adjustment of the N-terminal and the opening of the central structure of the protein come before the main unfolding process. Non-native turns were found to form along with the unfolding of the native structures. The central region that is composed of some β-sheet and α-helical structures was found to be the most stable part that might form the residual structure at high temperatures.
Keywords: Bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A,, infrared, thermal stability, two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy, H/D exchange
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