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The Complex Structure Transition of Humanin Peptides by Sodium Dodecylsulfate and Trifluoroethanol

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We have examined the structure of two Humanin (HN) analog peptides, HNG and AGA-(C8R)HNG17, in the presence of sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) and trifluoroethanol (TFE) using CD and sedimentation velocity. Both HNG and AGA-(C8R)HNG17 underwent complex conformational changes with increasing concentrations of SDS and TFE, in contrast to general trend of increasing α-helix with their concentration. To our surprise, both peptides appear to converge into a similar structure in SDS and TFE at higher concentrations; e.g., above 0.05 % SDS or 30-40 % TFE. Sedimentation velocity analysis showed extensive aggregation of HNG at 0.1 mg/ml in PBS in the absence of SDS, but a highly homogeneous solution in 0.1 % SDS, indicating formation of a uniform structure by SDS. These two peptides also formed an intermediate structure both in SDS and TFE at lower concentrations, which appeared to be associated with extensive aggregation. It is interesting that the structure changes of these peptides occur well below the critical micelle concentration of SDS, suggesting that conformational changes are mediated through molecular, not micellar, interactions with SDS.

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Keywords: Humanin; SDS; TFE; conformational change; secondary structure; sedimentation velocity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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