Ion mobility mass spectrometry studies on Aun-Lyz adducts showed gradual unfolding of the protein structure during binding of Au+ to the protein. The change of the charge state envelope in Aun-Lyz from that of Lyz in ESI MS data confirmed the relaxation of the protein structure. This Au+ binding occurs at cysteine sites through the breakage of disulfide bonds and this ruptures the H-bonded folded network structure of the protein leading to ∼30% change in helicity. Nearly 15% loss in the total H-bonding occurred during the attachment of 8 Au to the protein as calculated by a molecular dynamics simulation. Different Aun-Lyz structures were simulated, which confirmed significant unfolding of the protein. The structural insights were used to understand similar unfolding in the solution state as seen via circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. This open structure is indeed necessary to accommodate a cluster core inside a protein cavity during luminescent cluster synthesis. These studies unambiguously establish noble metal binding-induced conformational changes of protein structures to accommodate the clusters. © 2017 American Chemical Society.