Assessing Coupled Protein Folding and Binding Through Temperature-Dependent Isothermal Titration Calorimetry

Debashish Sahu, Monique Bastidas, Chad W. Lawrence, William G. Noid, Scott A. Showalter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


Broad interest in the thermodynamic driving forces of coupled macromolecular folding and binding is motivated by the prevalence of disorder-to-order transitions observed when intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) bind to their partners. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) is one of the few methods available for completely evaluating the thermodynamic parameters describing a protein-ligand binding event. Significantly, when the effective ΔH° for the coupled folding and binding process is determined by ITC in a temperature series, the constant-pressure heat capacity change (ΔCp) associated with these coupled equilibria is experimentally accessible, offering a unique opportunity to investigate the driving forces behind them. Notably, each of these molecular-scale events is often accompanied by strongly temperature-dependent enthalpy changes, even over the narrow temperature range experimentally accessible for biomolecules, making single temperature determinations of ΔH° less informative than typically assumed. Here, we will document the procedures we have adopted in our laboratory for designing, executing, and globally analyzing temperature-dependent ITC studies of coupled folding and binding in IDP interactions. As a biologically significant example, our recent evaluation of temperature-dependent interactions between the disordered tail of FCP1 and the winged-helix domain from Rap74 will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on the use of publically available analysis programs written in MATLAB that facilitate quantification of the thermodynamic forces governing IDP interactions. Although motivated from the perspective of IDPs, the experimental design principles and data fitting procedures presented here are general to the study of most noncooperative ligand binding equilibria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Enzymology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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