Document Detail

Successful design and synthesis of a polarity-triggered beta-->alpha conformational switch using the side chain interaction index (SCII) as a measure of local structural stability.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14730964     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Certain sequences within proteins have the ability to undergo an abrupt cooperative conformational switch from beta-strand to helix in response to decreasing polarity of the environment. This behavior was first observed at the CD4 binding site of the envelope glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-1, but evidence has accumulated that polarity-driven beta --> alpha switches may be widespread, serving both to facilitate binding on protein/membrane or protein/protein contact and to signal that docking has occurred. The characteristics identified so far that distinguish switch sequences (a reverse turn at the N-terminus that acts as a helix initiation site, a conserved tryptophan residue downstream, and high potential for both the helix and beta-fold) appear to be necessary but not sufficient, as some otherwise promising sequences found in data bank searches proved not to be capable of cooperative refolding. Analysis of existing switches has led to the development of the side chain interaction index (SCII) as a further parameter characterizing the beta --> alpha polarity-driven switch. Data bank searches using this additional parameter have successfully identified a series of new potential switch sequences. All of them have in common the amino acid tetrad LPCR at the N-terminus and a tryptophan 5-20 residues C-terminal to it. Those with a high SCII as well, when synthesized and tested, exhibited strongly cooperative polarity-driven refolding. Control peptides, containing all other parameters but with a low SCII, did not. Using this new information, an artificial sequence was designed that had a high SCII as well as the initiation site, conserved tryptophan, and high Palpha and Pbeta. When synthesized and tested, this sequence did in fact behave as a conformational switch, refolding cooperatively from beta-fold to helix at a threshold value of 30% TFE. The successful design of a polarity-driven conformational switch opens the possibility of using this motif as a tool in protein engineering.
Katja Gehenn; Rüdiger Pipkorn; Jennifer Reed
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biochemistry     Volume:  43     ISSN:  0006-2960     ISO Abbreviation:  Biochemistry     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-20     Completed Date:  2004-05-19     Revised Date:  2005-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370623     Medline TA:  Biochemistry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  607-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pathochemistry, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Adenylate Cyclase / chemical synthesis
Amino Acid Sequence
Circular Dichroism
Endothelial Cells / chemistry
HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / chemistry
Molecular Sequence Data
Peptide Fragments / chemical synthesis*
Protein Conformation*
Protein Engineering / methods*
Protein Precursors / chemical synthesis
Protein Structure, Secondary*
Pyruvate Dehydrogenase (Lipoamide)-Phosphatase / chemical synthesis
Receptors, Immunologic / chemistry
Receptors, Scavenger
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
Trypanosoma brucei brucei
Reg. No./Substance:
0/HIV Envelope Protein gp120; 0/Peptide Fragments; 0/Protein Precursors; 0/Receptors, Immunologic; 0/Receptors, Scavenger; EC Dehydrogenase (Lipoamide)-Phosphatase; EC Cyclase

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