Conformational plasticity of the lipid transfer protein SCP2.
ABSTRACT The nonspecific lipid transfer protein sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP2) is involved in organellar fatty acid metabolism. A hydrophobic cavity in the structure of SCP2 accommodates a wide variety of apolar ligands such as cholesterol derivatives or fatty acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) conjugates. The properties of this nonspecific lipid binding pocket are explored using NMR chemical shift perturbations, paramagnetic relaxation enhancement, amide hydrogen exchange, and 15N relaxation measurements. A common binding cavity shared by different physiological ligands is identified. NMR relaxation measurements reveal that residues in the three C-terminal alpha-helices within the lipid binding region exhibit mobility at fast (picosecond to nanosecond) and slow (microsecond to millisecond) time scales. Ligand binding is associated with a considerable loss of peptide backbone mobility. The observed conformational dynamics in SCP2 may play a role for the access of hydrophobic ligands to an occluded binding pocket. The C-terminal peroxisomal targeting signal of SCP2 is specifically recognized by the Pex5p receptor protein, which conducts cargo proteins toward the peroxisomal organelle. Neither the C-terminal targeting signal nor the N-terminal precursor sequence interferes with lipid binding by SCP2. The alpha-helices involved in lipid binding also mediate a secondary interaction interface with the Pex5p receptor. Silencing of conformational dynamics of the peptide backbone in these helices upon either lipid or Pex5p binding might communicate the loading state of the cargo protein to the targeting receptor.
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ABSTRACT: Although sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) is encoded as a precursor protein (proSCP-2), little is known regarding the structure and function of the 20-amino acid N-terminal presequence. As shown herein, the presequence contains significant secondary structure and alters SCP-2: (i) secondary structure (CD), (ii) tertiary structure (aqueous exposure of Trp shown by UV absorbance, fluorescence, and fluorescence quenching), (iii) ligand binding site [Trp response to ligands, peptide cross-linked by photoactivatable free cholesterol (FCBP)], (iv) selectivity for interaction with anionic phospholipid-rich membranes, (v) interaction with a peroxisomal import protein [FRET studies of Pex5p(C) binding], the N-terminal presequence increased SCP-2's affinity for Pex5p(C) by 10-fold, and (vi) intracellular targeting in living and fixed cells (confocal microscopy). Nearly 5-fold more SCP-2 than proSCP-2 colocalized with plasma membrane lipid rafts and caveolae (AF488-CTB); 2.8-fold more SCP-2 than proSCP-2 colocalized with a mitochondrial marker (Mitotracker), but nearly 2-fold less SCP-2 than proSCP-2 colocalized with peroxisomes (AF488 antibody to PMP70). These data indicate the importance of the N-terminal presequence in regulating SCP-2 structure, cholesterol localization within the ligand binding site, membrane association, and, potentially, intracellular targeting.Biochemistry 07/2008; 47(22):5915-34. · 3.42 Impact Factor
Article: Probing the determinants of diacylglycerol binding affinity in the C1B domain of protein kinase Cα.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: C1 domains are independently folded modules that are responsible for targeting their parent proteins to lipid membranes containing diacylglycerol (DAG), a ubiquitous second messenger. The DAG binding affinities of C1 domains determine the threshold concentration of DAG required for the propagation of signaling response and the selectivity of this response among DAG receptors in the cell. The structural information currently available for C1 domains offers little insight into the molecular basis of their differential DAG binding affinities. In this work, we characterized the C1B domain of protein kinase Cα (C1Bα) and its diagnostic mutant, Y123W, using solution NMR methods and molecular dynamics simulations. The mutation did not perturb the C1Bα structure or the sub-nanosecond dynamics of the protein backbone, but resulted in a >100-fold increase in DAG binding affinity and a substantial change in microsecond timescale conformational dynamics, as quantified by NMR rotating-frame relaxation-dispersion methods. The differences in the conformational exchange behavior between wild type and Y123W C1Bα were localized to the hinge regions of ligand-binding loops. Molecular dynamics simulations provided insight into the identity of the exchanging conformers and revealed the significance of a particular residue (Gln128) in modulating the geometry of the ligand-binding site. Taken together with the results of binding studies, our findings suggest that the conformational dynamics and preferential partitioning of the tryptophan side chain into the water-lipid interface are important factors that modulate the DAG binding properties of the C1 domains.Journal of Molecular Biology 03/2011; 408(5):949-70. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing is thought to be one of the major sources for functional diversity in higher eukaryotes. Interestingly, when mapping splicing events onto protein structures, about half of the events affect structured and even highly conserved regions i.e. are non-trivial on the structure level. This has led to the controversial hypothesis that such splice variants result in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay or non-functional, unstructured proteins, which do not contribute to the functional diversity of an organism. Here we show in a comprehensive study on alternative splicing that proteins appear to be much more tolerant to structural deletions, insertions and replacements than previously thought. We find literature evidence that such non-trivial splicing isoforms exhibit different functional properties compared to their native counterparts and allow for interesting regulatory patterns on the protein network level. We provide examples that splicing events may represent transitions between different folds in the protein sequence-structure space and explain these links by a common genetic mechanism. Taken together, those findings hint to a more prominent role of splicing in protein structure evolution and to a different view of phenotypic plasticity of protein structures.Nucleic Acids Research 03/2008; 36(2):550-8. · 8.03 Impact Factor