Differential scanning calorimetry is shown to detect substantial structural alterations occurring on the association of proteinases with the serum glycoprotein alpha 2-macroglobulin. At pH 7.5, the thermally induced unfolding of the macroglobulin occurs at approx. 60 degrees C with a transition enthalpy of 17 J/g. Association of active thermolysin, trypsin and papain shifts the transition temperature to 77 degrees C (transition enthalpy 5 J/g), indicating that a substantial conformational change accompanies the binding event. The stoicheiometry of the thermolysin-alpha 2-macroglobulin association producing this change appears to be unity, implying the presence of co-operative subunit interactions in the mechanism of association. The calorimetric method provides a novel approach for the evaluation of conformational variants induced on protein-protein association or pre-existing in the purified macroglobulin.
- © 1983 London: The Biochemical Society