Loading...
(1/5113) Molecular dynamics study of substance P peptides in a biphasic membrane mimic.

Two neuropeptides, substance P (SP) and SP-tyrosine-8 (SP-Y8), have been studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in a TIP3P water/CCl4 biphasic solvent system as a mimic for the water-membrane system. Initially, distance restraints derived from NMR nuclear Overhauser enhancements (NOE) were incorporated in the restrained MD (RMD) in the equilibration stage of the simulation. The starting orientation/position of the peptides for the MD simulation was either parallel to the water/CCl4 interface or in a perpendicular/insertion mode. In both cases the peptides equilibrated and adopted a near-parallel orientation within approximately 250 ps. After equilibration, the conformation and orientation of the peptides, the solvation of both the backbone and the side chain of the residues, hydrogen bonding, and the dynamics of the peptides were analyzed from trajectories obtained in the RMD or the subsequent free MD (where the NOE restraints were removed). These analyses showed that the peptide backbone of nearly all residues are either solvated by water or are hydrogen-bonded. This is seen to be an important factor against the insertion mode of interaction. Most of the interactions with the hydrophobic phase come from the hydrophobic interactions of the side chains of Pro-4, Phe-7, Phe-8, Leu-10, and Met-11 for SP, and Phe-7, Leu-10, Met-11 and, to a lesser extent, Tyr-8 in SP-Y8. Concerted conformational transitions took place in the time frame of hundreds of picoseconds. The concertedness of the transition was due to the tendency of the peptide to maintain the necessary secondary structure to position the peptide properly with respect to the water/CCl4 interface.  (+info)

(2/5113) Molecular dynamics study of substance P peptides partitioned in a sodium dodecylsulfate micelle.

Two neuropeptides, substance P (SP) and SP-tyrosine-8 (SP-Y8), have been studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in an explicit sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) micelle. Initially, distance restraints derived from NMR nuclear Overhauser enhancements (NOE) were incorporated in the restrained MD (RMD) during the equilibration stage of the simulation. It was shown that when SP-Y8 was initially placed in an insertion (perpendicular) configuration, the peptide equilibrated to a surface-bound (parallel) configuration in approximately 450 ps. After equilibration, the conformation and orientation of the peptides, the solvation of both the backbone and the side chain of the residues, hydrogen bonding, and the dynamics of the peptides were analyzed from trajectories obtained from the RMD or the subsequent free MD (where the NOE restraints were removed). These analyses showed that the peptide backbones of all residues are either solvated by water or are hydrogen-bonded. This is seen to be an important factor against the insertion mode of interaction. Most of the interactions come from the hydrophobic interaction between the side chains of Lys-3, Pro-4, Phe-7, Phe-8, Leu-10, and Met-11 for SP, from Lys-3, Phe-7, Leu-10, and Met-11 in SP-Y8, and the micellar interior. Significant interactions, electrostatic and hydrogen bonding, between the N-terminal residues, Arg-Pro-Lys, and the micellar headgroups were observed. These latter interactions served to affect both the structure and, especially, the flexibility, of the N-terminus. The results from simulation of the same peptides in a water/CCl4 biphasic cell were compared with the results of the present study, and the validity of using the biphasic system as an approximation for peptide-micelle or peptide-bilayer systems is discussed.  (+info)

(3/5113) Specificity of native-like interhelical hydrophobic contacts in the apomyoglobin intermediate.

On exposure to mildly acidic conditions, apomyoglobin forms a partially folded intermediate, I. The A, B, G, and H helices are significantly structured in this equilibrium intermediate, whereas the remainder of the protein is largely unfolded. We report here the effects of mutations at helix pairing sites on the stability of I in three classes of mutants that: (i) truncate hydrophobic side chains in native helix packing sites, (ii) truncate hydrophobic side chains not involved in interhelical contacts, and (iii) extend hydrophobic side chains at residues not involved in interhelical contacts. Class I mutants significantly decrease the stability and cooperativity of folding of the intermediate. Class II and III mutants show smaller effects on stability and have little effect on cooperativity. Qualitatively similar results to those found in I were obtained for all three classes of mutants in native myoglobin (N), demonstrating that hydrophobic burial is fairly specific to native helix packing sites in I as well as in N. These results suggest that hydrophobic burial along native-like interhelical contacts is important for the formation of the cooperatively folded intermediate.  (+info)

(4/5113) A specific transition state for S-peptide combining with folded S-protein and then refolding.

We measured the folding and unfolding kinetics of mutants for a simple protein folding reaction to characterize the structure of the transition state. Fluorescently labeled S-peptide analogues combine with S-protein to form ribonuclease S analogues: initially, S-peptide is disordered whereas S-protein is folded. The fluorescent probe provides a convenient spectroscopic probe for the reaction. The association rate constant, kon, and the dissociation rate constant, koff, were both determined for two sets of mutants. The dissociation rate constant is measured by adding an excess of unlabeled S-peptide analogue to a labeled complex (RNaseS*). This strategy allows kon and koff to be measured under identical conditions so that microscopic reversibility applies and the transition state is the same for unfolding and refolding. The first set of mutants tests the role of the alpha-helix in the transition state. Solvent-exposed residues Ala-6 and Gln-11 in the alpha-helix of native RNaseS were replaced by the helix destabilizing residues glycine or proline. A plot of log kon vs. log Kd for this series of mutants is linear over a very wide range, with a slope of -0.3, indicating that almost all of the molecules fold via a transition state involving the helix. A second set of mutants tests the role of side chains in the transition state. Three side chains were investigated: Phe-8, His-12, and Met-13, which are known to be important for binding S-peptide to S-protein and which also contribute strongly to the stability of RNaseS*. Only the side chain of Phe-8 contributes significantly, however, to the stability of the transition state. The results provide a remarkably clear description of a folding transition state.  (+info)

(5/5113) The Enterococcus hirae copper chaperone CopZ delivers copper(I) to the CopY repressor.

Expression of the cop operon which effects copper homeostasis in Enterococcus hirae is controlled by the copper responsive repressor CopY. Purified Zn(II)CopY binds to a synthetic cop promoter fragment in vitro. Here we show that the 8 kDa protein CopZ acts as a copper chaperone by specifically delivering copper(I) to Zn(II)CopY and releasing CopY from the DNA. As shown by gel filtration and luminescence spectroscopy, two copper(I) are thereby quantitatively transferred from Cu(I)CopZ to Zn(II)CopY, with displacement of the zinc(II) and transfer of copper from a non-luminescent, exposed, binding site in CopZ to a luminescent, solvent shielded, binding site in CopY.  (+info)

(6/5113) Selecting near-native conformations in homology modeling: the role of molecular mechanics and solvation terms.

A free energy function, combining molecular mechanics energy with empirical solvation and entropic terms, is used for ranking near-native conformations that occur in the conformational search steps of homology modeling, i.e., side-chain search and loop closure calculations. Correlations between the free energy and RMS deviation from the X-ray structure are established. It is shown that generally both molecular mechanics and solvation/entropic terms should be included in the potential. The identification of near-native backbone conformations is accomplished primarily by the molecular mechanics term that becomes the dominant contribution to the free energy if the backbone is even slightly strained, as frequently occurs in loop closure calculations. Both terms become equally important if a sufficiently accurate backbone conformation is found. Finally, the selection of the best side-chain positions for a fixed backbone is almost completely governed by the solvation term. The discriminatory power of the combined potential is demonstrated by evaluating the free energies of protein models submitted to the first meeting on Critical Assessment of techniques for protein Structure Prediction (CASP1), and comparing them to the free energies of the native conformations.  (+info)

(7/5113) The magnitude of changes in guanidine-HCl unfolding m-values in the protein, iso-1-cytochrome c, depends upon the substructure containing the mutation.

Hydrophilic to hydrophobic mutations have been made at 11 solvent exposed sites on the surface of iso-1-cytochrome c. Most of these mutations involve the replacement of lysine with methionine, which is nearly isosteric with lysine. Minimal perturbation to the native structure is expected, and this expectation is confirmed by infrared amide I spectroscopy. Guanidine hydrochloride denaturation studies demonstrate that these variants affect the magnitude of the m-value, the rate of change of free energy with respect to denaturant concentration, to different degrees. Changes in m-values are indicative of changes in the equilibrium folding mechanism of a protein. Decreases in m-values are normally thought to result either from an increased population of intermediates during unfolding or from a more compact denatured state. When cytochrome c is considered in terms of its thermodynamic substructures, the changes in the m-value for a given variant appear to depend upon the substructure in which the mutation is made. These data indicate that the relative stabilities and physical properties of substructures of cytochrome c play an important determining role in the equilibrium folding mechanism of this protein.  (+info)

(8/5113) South African public sceptical about new AIDS "cure".

 (+info)