Jay D Steinkruger

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States

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Publications (8)91.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Interactions between polypeptide chains containing amino acid residues with opposite absolute configurations have long been a source of interest and speculation, but there is very little structural information for such heterochiral associations. The need to address this lacuna has grown in recent years because of increasing interest in the use of peptides generated from d amino acids (d peptides) as specific ligands for natural proteins, e.g., to inhibit deleterious protein-protein interactions. Coiled-coil interactions, between or among α-helices, represent the most common tertiary and quaternary packing motif in proteins. Heterochiral coiled-coil interactions were predicted over 50 years ago by Crick, and limited experimental data obtained in solution suggest that such interactions can indeed occur. To address the dearth of atomic-level structural characterization of heterochiral helix pairings, we report two independent crystal structures that elucidate coiled-coil packing between l- and d-peptide helices. Both structures resulted from racemic crystallization of a peptide corresponding to the transmembrane segment of the influenza M2 protein. Networks of canonical knobs-into-holes side-chain packing interactions are observed at each helical interface. However, the underlying patterns for these heterochiral coiled coils seem to deviate from the heptad sequence repeat that is characteristic of most homochiral analogs, with an apparent preference for a hendecad repeat pattern.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Surface-bound polypeptides and proteins are increasingly used to functionalize inorganic interfaces such as electrodes, but their structural characterization is exceedingly difficult with standard technologies. In this paper, we report the first two-dimensional sum-frequency generation (2D SFG) spectra of a peptide monolayer, which is collected by adding a mid-IR pulse shaper to a standard femtosecond SFG spectrometer. On a gold surface, standard FTIR spectroscopy is inconclusive about the peptide structure because of solvation-induced frequency shifts, but the 2D lineshapes, anharmonic shifts, and lifetimes obtained from 2D SFG reveal that the peptide is largely α-helical and upright. Random coil residues are also observed, which do not themselves appear in SFG spectra due to their isotropic structural distribution, but which still absorb infrared light and so can be detected by cross-peaks in 2D SFG spectra. We discuss these results in the context of peptide design. Because of the similar way in which the spectra are collected, these 2D SFG spectra can be directly compared to 2D IR spectra, thereby enabling structural interpretations of surface-bound peptides and biomolecules based on the well-studied structure/2D IR spectra relationships established from soluble proteins.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Pairing preferences in heterodimeric coiled coils are determined by complementarities among side chains that pack against one another at the helix-helix interface. However, relationships between dimer stability and interfacial residue identity are not fully understood. In the context of the "knobs-into-holes" (KIH) packing pattern, one can identify two classes of interactions between side chains from different helices: "lateral", in which a line connecting the adjacent side chains is perpendicular to the helix axes, and "vertical", in which the connecting line is parallel to the helix axes. We have previously analyzed vertical interactions in antiparallel coiled coils and found that one type of triad constellation (a'-a-a') exerts a strong effect on pairing preferences, while the other type of triad (d'-d-d') has relatively little impact on pairing tendencies. Here, we ask whether vertical interactions (d'-a-d') influence pairing in parallel coiled-coil dimers. Our results indicate that vertical interactions can exert a substantial impact on pairing specificity, and that the influence of the d'-a-d' triad depends on the lateral a' contact within the local KIH motif. Structure-informed bioinformatic analyses of protein sequences reveal trends consistent with the thermodynamic data derived from our experimental model system in suggesting that heterotriads involving Leu and Ile are preferred over homotriads involving Leu and Ile.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Elucidating relationships between the amino-acid sequences of proteins and their three-dimensional structures, and uncovering non-covalent interactions that underlie polypeptide folding, are major goals in protein science. One approach toward these goals is to study interactions between selected residues, or among constellations of residues, in small folding motifs. The α-helical coiled coil has served as a platform for such studies because this folding unit is relatively simple in terms of both sequence and structure. Amino acid side chains at the helix-helix interface of a coiled coil participate in so-called "knobs-into-holes" (KIH) packing whereby a side chain (the knob) on one helix inserts into a space (the hole) generated by four side chains on a partner helix. The vast majority of sequence-stability studies on coiled-coil dimers have focused on lateral interactions within these KIH arrangements, for example, between an a position on one helix and an a' position of the partner in a parallel coiled-coil dimer, or between a--d' pairs in an antiparallel dimer. More recently, it has been shown that vertical triads (specifically, a'--a--a' triads) in antiparallel dimers exert a significant impact on pairing preferences. This observation provides impetus for analysis of other complex networks of side-chain interactions at the helix-helix interface. Here, we describe a combination of experimental and bioinformatics studies that show that d'--d--d' triads have much less impact on pairing preference than do a'--a--a' triads in a small, designed antiparallel coiled-coil dimer. However, the influence of the d'--d--d' triad depends on the lateral a'--d interaction. Taken together, these results strengthen the emerging understanding that simple pairwise interactions are not sufficient to describe side-chain interactions and overall stability in antiparallel coiled-coil dimers; higher-order interactions must be considered as well.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular design can be used to investigate whether the parallel-β-sheet secondary structure is subject to length-dependent cooperative stabilization along the strand direction (see picture). Extending strands by adding high-propensity residues (B) leads to a steady increase in parallel-β-sheet stability, but inclusion of low-propensity residues (A) can negate this stabilization.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
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    Jay D Steinkruger · Derek N Woolfson · Samuel H Gellman
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    ABSTRACT: A new strategy for rapid evaluation of sequence-stability relationships in the parallel coiled-coil motif is described. The experimental design relies upon thiol-thioester exchange equilibria, an approach that is particularly well suited to examination of heterodimeric systems. Our model system has been benchmarked by demonstrating that it can quantitatively reproduce previously reported trends in interhelical a-a' side-chain pairing preferences at the coiled-coil interface. This new tool has been used to explore the role of Coulombic interactions between a core position on one helix and a flanking position on the other helix (a-g'). This type of interhelical contact has received relatively little attention to date. Our results indicate that such interactions can influence coiled-coil partner preferences.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2010 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
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    Joshua L Price · Erik B Hadley · Jay D Steinkruger · Samuel H Gellman
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    ABSTRACT: "Chemical Equation Presented" Backbone thioester exchange is used to explore a fundamental type of protein-foldamer packing motif, the association of an α helix and an α/β-peptide foldameric helix, which is analogous to an antiparallel coiled-coil tertiary structure in a pure a-residue backbone. Sidechain packing preferences at this chimeric tertiary interface are comparable to those that determine pairing propensities among antiparallel α helices.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
  • Joshua L. Price · Erik B. Hadley · Jay D. Steinkruger · Samuel H. Gellman

    No preview · Article · Jan 2009 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition