Circular dichroism studies on lipid-protein complexes of a hydrophobic myelin protein
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Circular dichroism spectra of lipophilin (a hydrophobic protein purified from human central nervous system myelin) were analyzed by the method of Chen et al. (1974) to obtain information on its secondary structure in aqueous and lipid environments. When introduced into phosphatidylcholine vesicles by dialysis from 2-chloroethanol, the protein possessed about 75% alpha helix. A new water-soluble form of lipophilin also containing over 70% alpha helix was obtained by a similar dialysis in the absence of lipid. This product had a higher helical content than two other water-soluble preparations derived by dialysis from phenol-acetic acid-urea. Interaction of all three aqueous forms of the protein with lysolecithin micelles resulted in increases in total helical content or in the average length of helical segments. The amount of beta sheet was at a minimum for lipophilin incorporated into vesicles, where the presence of lipid also provided some protection against thermal denaturation.
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