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Help! How can I look at the conformational changes in proteins?

T. Chyau Liang tliang at utmmg.med.uth.tmc.edu
Thu Mar 7 14:04:12 EST 1996

In article <4hmg4j$n7l at sun4.bham.ac.uk>, bcm4jah2 at bham.ac.uk (Jim) wrote:

> Can anybody please tell me the best way to look at the conformational changes 
> in proteins as they are bound by substrates, inhibitors, etc.
>   Thanks very much James Harper.

Hi Jim,

You have several possibilities:

(1) Fluorescence spectroscopy: very sentitive and can tell you whether
there is conformational change or not.  However, it does not tell what
kind of conformational changes. Often, you can monitor the intrinsic
fluorophore on the protein or the substrate/inhibitor.

(2) Circular dichroism (CD): sensitivity comparable to UV/VIS spectroscopy
and can tell you more info on conformational changes (e.g., extent of
alpha-helix or beta sheet changes).

(3) NMR: a very insensitive method, but can potentially provide more info.
The same can be said about X-ray.

These are just a few mthods come to my mind. Others may be able to provide
you alternate methods.

hope this helps.

T. Chyau Liang, Ph.D.
U. Texas-Houston

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