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The exothermic thermal denaturation transition of band 3, the anion transporter of the human erythrocyte membranes, has been studied by differential scanning calorimetry, in ghost membranes and in nonionic detergent micelles. In detergent micelles the transmembrane domain of band 3 gave an irreversible denaturation transition (C transition). However, no thermal transition was observed for the N-terminal cytoplasmic domain when band 3 was solubilised in detergent micelles. A reduction in enthalpy (190-300 kcal mol-1) with an accompanying decrease in thermal denaturation temperatures (48-60 degrees C) for the C transition was observed in detergent solubilised band 3 when compared with ghost membranes. Unlike ghost membranes, two thermal transitions for band 3 in detergent micelles were observed for the C transition when in the presence of excess covalent inhibitor, 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulphonate (DIDS), which derive from the thermal unfolding of a single protein with two different thermal stabilities; DIDS-stabilised (75 degrees C) and DIDS-insensitive (62 degrees C). A reduction in the denaturation temperature for the transmembrane domain of band 3 was observed when compared with intact band 3 although no significant differences was observed in the corresponding enthalpy values. This indicates some cooperativity of the two domains of band 3 in maintaining the transmembrane conformation. The results presented in this study show that detergents of intermediate micelle size (e.g. Triton X-100 and C12E8) are required for optimal thermal stability of band 3.


Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date





148 - 154


4,4'-Diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-Disulfonic Acid, 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid, Anion Exchange Protein 1, Erythrocyte, Calorimetry, Differential Scanning, Detergents, Erythrocyte Membrane, Humans, Micelles, Protein Conformation, Protein Denaturation, Temperature