Thermal unfolding of the archaeal DNA and RNA binding protein Ssh10.
Wu X., Oppermann M., Berndt KD., Bergman T., Jörnvall H., Knapp S., Oppermann U.
The reversible thermal unfolding of the archaeal histone-like protein Ssh10b from the extremophile Sulfolobus shibatae was studied using differential scanning calorimetry and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Analytical ultracentrifugation and gel filtration showed that Ssh10b is a stable dimer in the pH range 2.5-7.0. Thermal denaturation data fit into a two-state unfolding model, suggesting that the Ssh10 dimer unfolds as a single cooperative unit with a maximal melting temperature of 99.9 degrees C and an enthalpy change of 134 kcal/mol at pH 7.0. The heat capacity change upon unfolding determined from linear fits of the temperature dependence of DeltaH(cal) is 2.55 kcal/(mol K). The low specific heat capacity change of 13 cal/(mol K residue) leads to a considerable flattening of the protein stability curve (DeltaG (T)) and results in a maximal DeltaG of only 9.5 kcal/mol at 320 K and a DeltaG of only 6.0 kcal/mol at the optimal growth temperature of Sulfolobus.