The kinetics of thermally induced aggregation of the glycoprotein Peniophora lycii phytase (Phy) and a deglycosylated form (dgPhy) was studied by dynamic (DLS) and static (SLS) light scattering. This provided a detailed insight into the time course of the formation of small aggregates (similar to 10-100 molecules) of the enzyme. The thermodynamic stability of the two forms was also investigated using scanning calorimetry (DSC). It was found that the glycans strongly promoted kinetic stability (i.e., reduced the rate of irreversible denaturation) while leaving the equilibrium denaturation temperature, T-d, defined by DSC, largely unaltered. At pH 4.5-5.0, for example, dgPhy aggregated similar to 200 times faster than Phy, even though the difference in T-d was only 1-3 degrees C. To elucidate the mechanism by which the glycans promote kinetic stability, we measured the effect of ionic strength and temperature on the aggregation rate. Also, the second virial coefficients (B-22) for the two forms were measured by SLS. These results showed that the aggregation rate of Phy scaled with the concentration of thermally denatured protein. This suggested first-order kinetics with respect to the concentration of the thermally denatured state. A similar but less pronounced correlation was found for dgPhy, and it was suggested that while the aggregation process for the deglycosylated form is dominated by denatured protein, it also involves a smaller contribution from associating molecules in the native state. The measurements of B22 revealed that dgPhy had slightly higher values than Phy. This suggests that dgPhy interacts more favorably with the buffer than Phy and hence rules out strong hydration of the glycans as the origin of their effect on the kinetic stability. On the basis of this and the effects of pH and ionic strength, we suggest that the inhibition of aggregation is more likely to depend on steric hindrance of the glycans in the aggregated form of the protein.
Biochemistry, 2006, Vol 45, Issue 15, p. 5057-5066