Biochemistry. Metamorphic proteins.

MRC Centre for Protein Engineering, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.2). 07/2008; 320(5884):1725-6. DOI: 10.1126/science.1158868
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT), a critical enzyme of the HIV life cycle and an important drug target, undergoes complex and largely uncharacterized conformational rearrangements that underlie its asymmetric folding, dimerization and subunit-selective ribonuclease H domain (RH) proteolysis. In the present article we have used a combination of NMR spectroscopy, small angle X-ray scattering and X-ray crystallography to characterize the p51 and p66 monomers and the conformational maturation of the p66/p66' homodimer. The p66 monomer exists as a loosely structured molecule in which the fingers/palm/connection, thumb and RH substructures are connected by flexible (disordered) linking segments. The initially observed homodimer is asymmetric and includes two fully folded RH domains, while exhibiting other conformational features similar to that of the RT heterodimer. The RH' domain of the p66' subunit undergoes selective unfolding with time constant ∼6.5 h, consistent with destabilization due to residue transfer to the polymerase' domain on the p66' subunit. A simultaneous increase in the intensity of resonances near the random coil positions is characterized by a similar time constant. Consistent with the residue transfer hypothesis, a construct of the isolated RH domain lacking the two N-terminal residues is shown to exhibit reduced stability. These results demonstrate that RH' unfolding is coupled to homodimer formation.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An algorithm is presented that returns the optimal pairwise gapped alignment of two sets of signed numerical sequence values. One distinguishing feature of this algorithm is a flexible comparison engine (based on both relative shape and absolute similarity measures) that does not rely on explicit gap penalties. Additionally, an empirical probability model is developed to estimate the significance of the returned alignment with respect to randomized data. The algorithm's utility for biological hypothesis formulation is demonstrated with test cases including database search and pairwise alignment of protein hydropathy. However, the algorithm and probability model could possibly be extended to accommodate other diverse types of protein or nucleic acid data, including positional thermodynamic stability and mRNA translation efficiency. The algorithm requires only numerical values as input and will readily compare data other than protein hydropathy. The tool is therefore expected to complement, rather than replace, existing sequence and structure based tools and may inform medical discovery, as exemplified by proposed similarity between a chlamydial ORFan protein and bacterial colicin pore-forming domain. The source code, documentation, and a basic web-server application are available.
    PLoS Computational Biology 10/2013; 9(10):e1003247. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Mad2 protein, with two distinct conformations of open- and closed-states, is a key player in the spindle checkpoint. The closed Mad2 state is more active than the open one. We carried out conventional and targeted molecular dynamics simulations for the two stable Mad2 states and their conformational transition to address the dynamical transition mechanism from the open to the closed state. The intermediate structure in the transition process shows exposure of the β6 strand and an increase of space around the binding sites of β6 strand due to the unfolding of the β7/8 sheet and movement of the β6/4/5 sheet close to the αC helix. Therefore, Mad2 binding to the Cdc20 protein in the spindle checkpoint is made possible. The interconversion between these two states might facilitate the functional activity of the Mad2 protein. Motion correlation analysis revealed the allosteric network between the β1 strand and β7/8 sheet via communication of the β5-αC loop and the β6/4/5 sheet in this transition process.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(4):5553-69. · 2.46 Impact Factor