The correlation between protein stability and dipole moment: a critical test

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Abstract

Improving the stability of proteins is a major aim in basic and applied protein science. Querol and coworkers calculated changes in the quasi-electric dipole moment of a protein and used it as a simple criterion to predict stabilizing charge mutations. They employed this method to propose for the bacterial cold shock protein Bc-Csp a number of charge mutations that should have a strong influence on stability. We produced eight variants of Bc-Csp with such mutations and measured their stabilities experimentally. However, we could not find a correlation between the stability and the quasi dipole moment of these variants. Possibly, the quasi dipole moment reflects only a secondary aspect of the changes that are caused by charge mutations in a protein.

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