Unfolded vs native CO-coordinated horse heart cytochrome c (h-cyt c) and a heme axial methionine mutant cyt c552 from Hydrogenobacter thermophilus (Ht-M61A) are studied by IR absorption spectroscopy and ultrafast 2D-IR vibrational echo spectroscopy of the CO stretching mode. The unfolding is induced by guanidinium hydrochloride (GuHCl). The CO IR absorption spectra for both h-cyt c and Ht-M61A shift to the red as the GuHCl concentration is increased through the concentration region over which unfolding occurs. The spectra for the unfolded state are substantially broader than the spectra for the native proteins. A plot of the CO peak position vs GuHCl concentration produces a sigmoidal curve that overlays the concentration-dependent circular dichroism (CD) data of the CO-coordinated forms of both Ht-M61A and h-cyt c within experimental error. The coincidence of the CO peak shift curve with the CD curves demonstrates that the CO vibrational frequency is sensitive to the structural changes induced by the denaturant. 2D-IR vibrational echo experiments are performed on native Ht-M61A and on the protein in low- and high-concentration GuHCl solutions. The 2D-IR vibrational echo is sensitive to the global protein structural dynamics on time scales from subpicosecond to greater than 100 ps through the change in the shape of the 2D spectrum with time (spectral diffusion). At the high GuHCl concentration (5.1 M), at which Ht-M61A is essentially fully denatured as judged by CD, a very large reduction in dynamics is observed compared to the native protein within the ∼100 ps time window of the experiment. The results suggest the denatured protein may be in a glassy-like state involving hydrophobic collapse around the heme.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry