Cytochrome b562 is a four-helix bundle protein containing a noncovalently bound b-type heme prosthetic group. For the first time, energetics of heme binding to an apocytochrome were measured by isothermal titration calorimetry. The heme is tightly bound to native apocytochrome b562, with a dissociation constant (K(d)) of approximately 9 nM (ΔG°= 11 kcal mol-1) at 25 °C. Unexpectedly, the thermally denatured apoprotein is also capable of specifically binding heme with modest affinity (K(d) = 3 μM, ΔG°= 7.6 kcal mol-1). This interaction results in the dependence of holocytochrome b562 stability on protein concentration in the submicromolar range.
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