Organization and dynamics of tryptophan residues in brain spectrin: Novel insight into conformational flexibility

Madhurima Mitra, Arunima Chaudhuri, Malay Patra, Chaitali Mukhopadhyay, Abhijit Chakrabarti*, Amitabha Chattopadhyay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain spectrin enjoys overall structural and sequence similarity with erythroid spectrin, but less is known about its function. We utilized the fluorescence properties of tryptophan residues to monitor their organization and dynamics in brain spectrin. Keeping in mind the functional relevance of hydrophobic binding sites in brain spectrin, we monitored the organization and dynamics of brain spectrin bound to PRODAN. Results from red edge excitation shift (REES) indicate that the organization of tryptophans in brain spectrin is maintained to a considerable extent even after denaturation. These results are supported by acrylamide quenching experiments. To the best of our knowledge, these results constitute the first report of the presence of residual structure in urea-denatured brain spectrin. We further show from REES and time-resolved emission spectra that PRODAN bound to brain spectrin is characterized by motional restriction. These results provide useful information on the differences between erythroid spectrin and brain spectrin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-717
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fluorescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain spectrin
  • Fluorescence quenching
  • REES
  • TRES
  • Tryptophan


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