Spectral properties of pig intestinal Ca2+-binding protein (CaBP) and its apoprotein have been examined by fluorescence, absorption and c.d. Direct fluorescence from some of the five phenylalanine residues is observed and excitation spectra show that there is also energy transfer from some phenylalanine residues to the tyrosine. Absorption and c.d. spectra show that the tyrosine hydroxy group does not ionize significantly below pH 12. Tyrosine fluorescence is reversibly quenched by a lysine residue with a pK of 10.05 in the Ca2+ form. At low pH the tyrosine fluorescence is enhanced with transitions with pK values of approx. 4.2. The c.d. spectrum of the Ca2+ form shows a decrease of the ellipticity band at 276nm with a transition similar to that of the fluorescence titration. The apoprotein, however, shows an additional transition with a pK of about 6. The results are interpreted in terms of the recently published structure of the cow intestinal CaBP [Szebenyi, Obendorf & Moffat (1981) Nature (London) 294, 327-332]. The single tyrosine has a very high pK, although it apparently lies on the surface of the protein molecule.

This content is only available as a PDF.