Terbium (III) emission as a probe of calcium(II) binding sites in proteins.

Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Journal of the American Chemical Society (Impact Factor: 11.44). 01/1977; 98(25):8255-60. DOI: 10.1021/ja00441a060
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Calcium binding and signaling orchestrate a wide variety of essential cellular functions, many of which employ the EF-hand Ca2+ binding motif. The ion binding parameters of this motif are controlled, in part, by the structure of its Ca2+ binding loop, termed the EF-loop. The EF-loops of different proteins are carefully specialized, or fine-tuned, to yield optimized Ca2+ binding parameters for their unique cellular roles. The present study uses a structurally homologous Ca2+ binding loop, that of the Escherichia coli galactose binding protein, as a model for the EF-loop in studies examining the contribution of the third loop position to intramolecular tuning. 10 different side chains are compared at the third position of the model EF-loop with respect to their effects on protein stability, sugar binding, and metal binding equilibria and kinetics. Substitution of an acidic Asp side chain for the native Asn is found to generate a 6,000-fold increase in the ion selectivity for trivalent over divalent cations, providing strong support for the electrostatic repulsion model of divalent cation charge selectivity. Replacement of Asn by neutral side chains differing in size and shape each alter the ionic size selectivity in a similar manner, supporting a model in which large-ion size selectivity is controlled by complex interactions between multiple side chains rather than by the dimensions of a single coordinating side chain. Finally, the pattern of perturbations generated by side chain substitutions helps to explain the prevalence of Asn and Asp at the third position of natural EF-loops and provides further evidence supporting the unique kinetic tuning role of the gateway side chain at the ninth EF-loop position.
    The Journal of General Physiology 08/1997; 110(2):173-184. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms by which Ca2+ and metal ions interact with the binding sites that modulate the tight junctions (TJs) have not been fully described. Metal ions were used as probes of these sites in the frog urinary bladder. Basolateral Ca2+ withdrawal induces the opening of the TJs, a process that is abruptly terminated when Ca2+ is readmitted, and is followed by a complete recovery of the TJ seal. Mg2+ and Ba2+ were incapable of keeping the TJ sealed or of inducing TJ recovery. In addition, Mg2+ causes a reversible concentration-dependent inhibition of the Ca2+-induced TJ recovery. The effects of extracellular Ca2+ manipulation on the TJs apparently is not mediated by changes of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. The transition elements, Mn2+ and Cd2+, act as Ca2+ agonists. In the absence of Ca2+, they prevent TJ opening and almost immediately halt the process of TJ opening caused by Ca2+ withdrawal. In addition, Mn2+ promotes an almost complete recovery of the TJ seal. Cd2+, in spite of stabilizing the TJs in the closed state and halting TJ opening, does not promote TJ recovery, an effect that apparently results from a superimposed toxic effect that is markedly attenuated by the presence of Ca2+. The interruption of TJ opening caused by Ca2+, Cd2+, or Mn2+, and the stability they confer to the closed TJs, might result from the interaction of these ions with E-cadherin. Addition of La3+ (2 μM) to the basolateral Ca2+-containing solution causes an increase of TJ permeability that fully reverses when La3+ is removed. This effect of La3+, observed in the presence of Ca2+ (1 mM), indicates a high La3+ affinity for the Ca2+-binding sites. This ability of La3+ to open TJs in the presence of Ca2+ is a relevant aspect that must be considered when using La3+ in the evaluation of TJ permeability of epithelial and endothelial membranes, particularly when used during in vivo perfusion or in the absence of fixatives.
    The Journal of General Physiology 12/1997; 110(6):727-740. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human γS-crystallin is an important component of the human eye lens nucleus and cortex. The mutation V42M in the molecule causes severe congenital cataract in children. We compare the structure of the mutant protein with that of the wild type in order to understand how structural changes in the mutant relate to the mechanism of opacification. Both proteins were made using conventional cloning and expression procedures. Secondary and tertiary structural features of the proteins were analyzed using spectral methods. Structural stabilities of the proteins were analyzed using chemical and thermal denaturation methods. Self-aggregation was monitored using extrinsic spectral probes. Molecular modeling was used to compare the structural features of the two proteins. While the wild type and mutant have the same secondary structure, molecular modeling and fluorescence analysis suggest the mutant to have a more open tertiary structure, with a larger hydrophobic surface. Experiments using extrinsic probes reveal that the mutant readily self-aggregates, with the suggestion that the aggregates might be similar to amyloidogenic fibrils. Chemical denaturation indicates that while the wild type exhibits the classic two-state transition, V42M goes through an intermediate state, and has a distinctly lower stability than the wild type. The temperature of thermal unfolding of the mutant is also distinctly lower. Further, the mutant readily precipitates and scatters light more easily than the wild type. The replacement of valine in position 42 by the longer and bulkier methionine in human γS-crystallin perturbs the compact β-sheet core packing topology in the N-terminal domain of the molecule, exposes nonpolar residues thereby increasing the surface hydrophobicity and weakens the stability of the protein, thus promoting self-aggregation leading to light scattering particles. This set of changes in the properties of the mutant offers a molecular insight into the mechanism of opacification.
    PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e51401. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0051401 · 3.53 Impact Factor