[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein therapeutics made up of artificially combined proteins or protein domains, so-called fusion proteins, are a novel and growing class of biopharmaceuticals. We have studied abatacept (Orencia), a fusion protein that is constructed of a modified IgG Fc domain and the soluble part of the T-cell receptor CTLA-4. In accelerated degradation studies conducted at 40 degrees C, a pH shift from 7.5 to 6.0 yields significantly faster aggregation kinetics, as measured by size-exclusion chromatography. To understand how the fusion domains and their interactions contribute to this result, we considered aggregation in light of the modified Lumry-Eyring reaction pathway. Protein conformational stabilities against chaotropes and temperature were measured. The structural consequences of these perturbations were observed by a variety of experimental techniques, including differential scanning calorimetry, circular dichroism, and intrinsic fluorescence. Abatacept's colloidal stability was studied by measuring zeta potentials and osmotic second virial coefficients, as well as by modeling electrostatic potentials on the protein's surface. The domains of abatacept exhibit different conformational stabilities that are highly pH dependent, whereas abatacept was weakly colloidally unstable at pH 6 or 7.5. These results are ascribed to conformational instability of the CTLA-4 and C(H)2 domains, which unfold to form a molten globule-like structure that is aggregation-prone. We suggest the instability against aggregation is determined by the least stable domains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Linear chromosomes terminate in specialized nucleoprotein structures called telomeres, which are required for genomic stability and cellular proliferation. Telomeres end in an unusual 3' single-strand overhang that requires a special capping mechanism to prevent inappropriate recognition by the DNA damage machinery. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, this protective function is mediated by the Pot1 protein, which binds specifically and with high affinity to telomeric ssDNA. We have characterized the thermodynamics and accommodation of both cognate and noncognate telomeric single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) sequences by Pot1pN, an autonomous ssDNA-binding domain (residues 1-187) found in full-length S. pombe Pot1. Direct calorimetric measurements of cognate telomeric ssDNA binding to Pot1pN show favorable enthalpy, unfavorable entropy, and a negative heat-capacity change. Thermodynamic analysis of the binding of noncognate telomeric ssDNA to Pot1pN resulted in unexpected changes in free energy, enthalpy, and entropy. Chemical-shift perturbation and structural analysis of these bound noncognate sequences show that these thermodynamic changes result from the structural rearrangement of both Pot1pN and the bound oligonucleotide. These data suggest that the ssDNA-binding interface is highly dynamic and, in addition to the conformation observed in the crystal structure of the Pot1pN/d(GGTTAC) complex, capable of adopting alternative thermodynamically equivalent conformations.