We have analyzed the tryptophan (trp) fluorescence-decay kinetics of single trp mutants of the Tet repressor protein in the free, the tet operator and anhydrotetracycline (atc)-bound states. The position of the single trp varies between residues 164 and 171, in close proximity to one entrance of the tetracycline-binding pocket. A good fit of the trp fluorescence decay needed generally three exponentials. The decay times vary with detection wavelength, the extent of this variation being correlated to the variation of the emission maximum. Quenching experiments with neutral (acrylamide), cationic (N-methylpyridinium chloride) and anionic quencher (KI) support the interpretation of the three fluorescence components within a conformer model. Operator and atc binding change the ratio of the relative amplitudes of the medium- and long-lived component, thus pointing to structural changes as indicated also by the changes in decay time. Since the fluorescence decay is different between the free, atc- and operator-bound states we conclude that the protein structure is different in each of these three states. The fluorescence quenching constants reflect not only the variation in solvent exposure with position, but also the fact that the net surface charge in this region is negative, because the quenching constants by the cationic quencher are up to 10-fold higher. The atc fluorescence appears to decay monoexponentially with about the same decay time for all mutants, except W170, in which the trp residue sterically interferes with atc.
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1 July 2000
Conformational Changes Induced in the Tet Repressor Protein TetR(B) upon Operator or Anhydrotetracycline Binding as Revealed by Time-resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy on Single Tryptophan Mutants¶
Photochemistry and Photobiology
Vol. 72 • No. 1
Vol. 72 • No. 1