Indexed on: 09 Jul '03Published on: 09 Jul '03Published in: Biochemistry
Sso7d is a 62-residue, basic protein from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Around neutral pH, it exhibits a denaturation temperature close to 100 degrees C and a non-sequence-specific DNA binding activity. Here, we report the characterization by circular dichroism and fluorescence measurements of a variant form of Sso7d truncated at leucine 54 (L54Delta). It is shown that L54Delta has a folded conformation at neutral pH and that its thermal unfolding is a reversible process, represented well by the two-state N <=> D transition model, with a denaturation temperature of 53 degrees C. Fluorescence titration experiments indicate that L54Delta binds tightly to calf thymus DNA, even though the binding parameters are smaller than those of the wild-type protein. Therefore, the truncation of eight residues at the C-terminus of Sso7d markedly affects the thermal stability of the protein, which nevertheless retains a folded structure and DNA binding activity.