Nuclear magnetic resonance analyses have been made of the individual hydrogen–deuterium exchange rates of tryptophan indole N-1 hydrogens in native lysozyme and its chemically modified derivatives including lysozyme with an ester cross-linkage between Glu-35 and Trp-108, lysozyme with an internal amide cross-linking between the ∊-amino group of Lys-13 and the α-carboxyl group of Leu-129, and lysozyme with the β-aspartyl sequence at Asp-101. The pH dependence curves of the exchange rates for Trp-63 and Trp-108 are different from those expected for tryptophan. The pH dependence curve for Trp-108 exchange exhibits the effects from molecular aggregation at pH above 5 and from a transition between the two conformational fluctuations at around pH 4. The exchange rates for tryptophan residues in native lysozyme and modified derivatives are not correlated with the thermodynamic or kinetic parameters in protein denaturation, suggesting that the fluctuations responsible for the exchange are not global ones. The exchange rates for tryptophan residues remote from the modification site are perturbed. Such tryptophan residues are found to be involved in a small but distinct conformational change due to the modification. Therefore, the perturbations of the N-1 hydrogen exchange rates are related to the minor change in local conformation or in conformational strain induced by the chemical modification.
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