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Heat and cold denaturation of yeast frataxin: The effect of pressure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Rita Puglisi, Patrizia Cioni, Edi Gabellieri, Gianluca Presciuttini, Annalisa Pastore, Piero Andrea Temussi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1511
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number8
Early online date19 Apr 2022
Accepted/In press7 Mar 2022
E-pub ahead of print19 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The work was funded by the Dementia Research Institute (grant Nr RE1 3556 ), which is funded by the Medical Research Council , Alzheimer’s Society, and Alzheimer’s Research UK. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Biophysical Society

King's Authors


Yfh1 is a yeast protein with the peculiar characteristic to undergo, in the absence of salt, cold denaturation at temperatures above the water freezing point. This feature makes the protein particularly interesting for studies aiming at understanding the rules that determine protein fold stability. Here, we present the phase diagram of Yfh1 unfolding as a function of pressure (0.1–500 MPa) and temperature 278–313 K (5–40°C) both in the absence and in the presence of stabilizers using Trp fluorescence as a monitor. The protein showed a remarkable sensitivity to pressure: at 293 K, pressures around 10 MPa are sufficient to cause 50% of unfolding. Higher pressures were required for the unfolding of the protein in the presence of stabilizers. The phase diagram on the pressure-temperature plane together with a critical comparison between our results and those found in the literature allowed us to draw conclusions on the mechanism of the unfolding process under different environmental conditions.

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