Tryptophan residues have been introduced into two domains of the human U1A protein to probe solution dynamics. The full length protein contains 282 residues, separated into three distinct domains: the N-terminal RBD1 (RNA Binding Domain I' consisting of amino acids 1-101; the C-terminal RBD2, residues 202-282; and the intervening linker region. Tryptophan residues have been substituted for specific phenylalanine residues on the surface of the β-sheet of either RBD1 or RBD2, thus introducing a single solvent exposed tryptophan as a fluorescence reporter. Both steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence measurements of the isolated RBD domains show that each tryptophan experiences a unique environment on the β-sheet surface. The spectral properties of each tryptophan in RBD 1 and RBD2 are preserved in the context of the U1A protein, indicating these domains do not interact with each other or with the linker region. The rotational correlation times of the isolated RBDs and the whole U1A, determined by dynamic polarization measurements, show that the linker region is highly flexible such that each RBD exhibits uncorrelated motion.
- Tryptophan fluorescence