Determination of helix orientations in proteins
Biomolecular Science Center, University of Central Florida, 12722 Research Parkway, Orlando, FL 32826, USA. Computational Biology and Chemistry
(Impact Factor: 1.12).
08/2008; 32(5):370-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2008.05.001
Accurate description of helices, including curvature and bending, and determination of interhelical angles are essential for analysis of the three-dimensional fold and functionally important conformational changes in helical proteins. Here, a new computational method is presented that allows determination of angles between any helical stretches, the radius of curvature of curved helices, bending angle of bent helices, as well as symmetry relations within the protein molecule, using main chain atom coordinates. The method has been applied to describe changes in interhelical angles in calmodulin upon interaction with a target peptide, which reveals the conformational changes at a higher precision. Because subtle changes in helix-to-helix packing and interhelical angles often underlie significant functional transitions in proteins, this approach can serve as a useful tool for characterization of such conformational changes at an exceedingly high accuracy and thus provide detailed insight into the structure-function relationship of proteins.
Available from: Marta A Witek
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ABSTRACT: We have solved the crystal structure of a segment of nonerythroid alpha-spectrin (alphaII) consisting of the first 147 residues to a resolution of 2.3 A. We find that the structure of this segment is generally similar to a corresponding segment from erythroid alpha-spectrin (alphaI) but exhibits unique differences with functional significance. Specific features include the following: (i) an irregular and frayed first helix (Helix C'); (ii) a helical conformation in the junction region connecting Helix C' with the first structural domain (D1); (iii) a long A(1)B(1) loop in D1; and (iv) specific inter-helix hydrogen bonds/salt bridges that stabilize D1. Our findings suggest that the hydrogen bond networks contribute to structural domain stability, and thus rigidity, in alphaII, and the lack of such hydrogen bond networks in alphaI leads to flexibility in alphaI. We have previously shown the junction region connecting Helix C' to D1 to be unstructured in alphaI (Park, S., Caffrey, M. S., Johnson, M. E., and Fung, L. W. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 21837-21844) and now find it to be helical in alphaII, an important difference for alpha-spectrin association with beta-spectrin in forming tetramers. Homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulation studies of the structure of the tetramerization site, a triple helical bundle of partial domain helices, show that mutations in alpha-spectrin will affect Helix C' structural flexibility and/or the junction region conformation and may alter the equilibrium between spectrin dimers and tetramers in cells. Mutations leading to reduced levels of functional tetramers in cells may potentially lead to abnormal neuronal functions.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(19):14572-84. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M109.080028 · 4.57 Impact Factor
Available from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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ABSTRACT: Conformational changes in the substrate access channel have been observed for several forms of cytochrome P450, but the extent of conformational plasticity exhibited by a given isozyme has not been completely characterized. Here we present crystal structures of P450cam bound to a library of 12 active site probes containing a substrate analogue tethered to a variable linker. The structures provide a unique view of the range of protein conformations accessible during substrate binding. Principal component analysis of a total of 30 structures reveals three discrete clusters of conformations: closed (P450cam-C), intermediate (P450cam-I), and fully open (P450cam-O). Relative to P450cam-C, the P450cam-I state results predominantly from a retraction of helix F, while both helices F and G move in concert to reach the fully open P450cam-O state. Both P450cam-C and P450cam-I are well-defined states, while P450cam-O shows evidence of a somewhat broader distribution of conformations and includes the open form recently seen in the absence of substrate. The observed clustering of protein conformations over a wide range of ligand variants suggests a multistep closure of the enzyme around the substrate that begins by conformational selection from an ensemble of open conformations and proceeds through a well-defined intermediate, P450cam-I, before full closure to the P450cam-C state in the presence of small substrates. This multistep pathway may have significant implications for a full understanding of substrate specificity, kinetics, and coupling of substrate binding to P450 function.
Biochemistry 02/2011; 50(5):693-703. DOI:10.1021/bi101726d · 3.02 Impact Factor
Available from: Suren Tatulian
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ABSTRACT: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is widely used in structural characterization of proteins or peptides. While the method does not have the capability of providing the precise, atomic-resolution molecular structure, it is exquisitely sensitive to conformational changes occurring in proteins upon functional transitions or upon intermolecular interactions. Sensitivity of vibrational frequencies to atomic masses has led to development of "isotope-edited" FTIR spectroscopy, where structural effects in two proteins, one unlabeled and the other labeled with a heavier stable isotope, such as (13)C, are resolved simultaneously based on spectral downshift (separation) of the amide I band of the labeled protein. The same isotope effect is used to identify site-specific conformational changes in proteins by site-directed or segmental isotope labeling. Negligible light scattering in the infrared region provides an opportunity to study intermolecular interactions between large protein complexes, interactions of proteins and peptides with lipid vesicles, or protein-nucleic acid interactions without light scattering problems often encountered in ultraviolet spectroscopy. Attenuated total reflection FTIR (ATR-FTIR) is a surface-sensitive version of infrared spectroscopy that has proved useful in studying membrane proteins and lipids, protein-membrane interactions, mechanisms of interfacial enzymes, and molecular architecture of membrane pore or channel forming proteins and peptides. The purpose of this article was to provide a practical guide to analyze protein structure and protein-membrane interactions by FTIR and ATR-FTIR techniques, including procedures of sample preparation, measurements, and data analysis. Basic background information on FTIR spectroscopy, as well as some relatively new developments in structural and functional characterization of proteins and peptides in lipid membranes, are also presented.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/2013; 974:177-218. DOI:10.1007/978-1-62703-275-9_9 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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