Conformation of Thermus thermophilus Ribosomal Protein S1in Solution at Different Ionic Strengths


Small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering were used to study the structure of the ribosomal protein S1 (61 kDa) from Thermus thermophilus in solution at low and moderate ionic strength (0 and 100 mM NaCl). The protein was found to be globular in both cases. Modeling of the S1 structure comprising six homologous domains on the basis of the NMR data for one domain showed that the best fit to scattering data was provided by compact domain packing. The calculated gyration radius was 28–29 Å, as typical of globular proteins about 60 kDa. The protein was prone to self-association, forming mainly dimers and trimers at moderate ionic strength and higher compact associates at low ionic strength. Neutron scattering assays in heavy water at 100 mM NaCl revealed markedly elongated associates. The translational diffusion coefficient calculated for S1 at 100 mM NaCl from dynamic light scattering was markedly lower than the one expected for its globular monomer (D20,w = (2.7 ± 0.1)⋅10–7 versus (5.8–6.0)⋅10–7 cm2 s–1), confirming protein association under equilibrium conditions.
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