Recognition between a short unstructured peptide and a partially folded fragment leads to the thioredoxin fold sharing native-like dynamics

Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Suipacha 531, S2002LRK Rosario, Argentina.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics (Impact Factor: 2.92). 05/2012; 80(5):1448-64. DOI: 10.1002/prot.24043
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thioredoxins (TRXs) constitute attractive α/β scaffolds for investigating molecular recognition. The interaction between the recombinant fragment spanning the sequence 1-93 of full-length TRX (TRX1-93) and the synthetic peptide comprising residues 94-108 (TRX94-108), plus a C-terminal tyrosine tag (the numbering scheme used in entry pdb 2TRX is used throughout the article, two complementary moieties of E. coli TRX, brings about the consolidation of a native-like complex. Despite its reduced thermodynamic stability, this complex is able to acquire fine structural features remarkably similar to those characteristic of full-length TRX, namely, hydrodynamic behavior, assessed by diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY)-NMR; the pattern of secondary structure, as revealed by three-bond HNHα coupling constants and secondary shifts for Hα/CO/Cα/Cβ; native-like tertiary structural signatures revealed by near-UV circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The complex exhibits a relaxation behavior compatible with that expected for a native-like structure. However, heteronuclear nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE)s reveal an enhanced dynamics for the complex by comparison with full-length TRX. Furthermore, higher R(2) values for residues 43-50 and 74-89 would likely result from an exchange process modulated by the peptide at the interface region. The slow kinetics of the consolidation reaction was followed by CD and real-time NMR. Equilibrium titration experiments by NMR yield a K(D) value of 1.4 ± 1.0 μM and a second low-affinity (>150 μM) binding event in the vicinity of the active site. Molecular dynamics simulations of both the isolated fragment TRX1-93 and the complex suggest the destabilization of α2 and α3 helical elements and the persistence of β-structure in the absence of TRX94-108. Altogether, structural and dynamic evidence presented herein points to the key role played by the C-terminal helix in establishing the overall fold. This critical switch module endows reduced TRX with the ability to act as a cooperative folding unit.

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