Isolation and characterization of type I antifreeze proteins from Atlantic snailfish (Liparis atlanticus) and dusky snailfish (Liparis gibbus).
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) were isolated from the blood plasma of Atlantic snailfish Liparis atlanticus and dusky snailfish Liparis gibbus, which belong to the Teleost family Cyclopteridae, a close relative of sculpins. Using a combination of gel filtration chromatography and reversed-phase HPLC, proteins were purified to individual peaks. Atlantic snailfish plasma contained two different proteins (MW=9344, 9415) while dusky snailfish plasma contained five protein isoforms (MW=9514-9814), as determined by mass spectrometry. Further characterization revealed that these proteins are rich in alanine (>50 mol%), and have alpha-helical secondary structure that can undergo reversible thermal denaturation. Thermal hysteresis activities of these proteins were similar to each other but lower than the major type I AFPs from winter flounder. Results of this study have indicated that although the AFPs from snailfish are significantly larger than previously described type I AFPs, they share enough characteristics to be classified in this group. (+info)
Structure of type I antifreeze protein and mutants in supercooled water.
Many organisms are able to survive subzero temperatures at which bodily fluids would normally be expected to freeze. These organisms have adapted to these lower temperatures by synthesizing antifreeze proteins (AFPs), capable of binding to ice, which make further growth of ice energetically unfavorable. To date, the structures of five AFPs have been determined, and they show considerable sequence and structural diversity. The type I AFP reveals a single 37-residue alpha-helical structure. We have studied the behavior of wild-type type I AFP and two "inactive" mutants (Ala17Leu and Thr13Ser/Thr24Ser) in normal and supercooled solutions of H(2)O and deuterium oxide (D(2)O) to see if the structure at temperatures below the equilibrium freezing point is different from the structure observed at above freezing temperatures. Analysis of 1D (1)H- and (13)C-NMR spectra illustrate that all three proteins remain folded as the temperature is lowered and even seem to become more alpha-helical as evidenced by (13)C(alpha)-NMR chemical shift changes. Furthermore, (13)C-T(2) NMR relaxation measurements demonstrate that the rotational correlation times of all three proteins behave in a predictable manner under all temperatures and conditions studied. These data have important implications for the structure of the AFP bound to ice as well as the mechanisms for ice-binding and protein oligomerization. (+info)
A mechanism for stabilization of membranes at low temperatures by an antifreeze protein.
Polar fish, cold hardy plants, and overwintering insects produce antifreeze proteins (AFPs), which lower the freezing point of solutions noncolligatively and inhibit ice crystal growth. Fish AFPs have been shown to stabilize membranes and cells in vitro during hypothermic storage, probably by interacting with the plasma membrane, but the mechanism of this stabilization has not been clear. We show here that during chilling to nonfreezing temperatures the alpha-helical AFP type I from polar fish inhibits leakage across model membranes containing an unsaturated chloroplast galactolipid. The mechanism involves binding of the AFP to the bilayer, which increases the phase transition temperature of the membranes and alters the molecular packing of the acyl chains. We suggest that this change in acyl chain packing results in the reduced membrane permeability. The data suggest a hydrophobic interaction between the peptide and the bilayer. Further, we suggest that the expression of AFP type I in transgenic plants may be significant for thermal adaptation of chilling-sensitive plants. (+info)
Solution structure of a hydrophobic analogue of the winter flounder antifreeze protein.
The solution structure of a synthetic mutant type I antifreeze protein (AFP I) was determined in aqueous solution at pH 7.0 using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The mutations comprised the replacement of the four Thr residues by Val and the introduction of two additional Lys-Glu salt bridges. The antifreeze activity of this mutant peptide, VVVV2KE, has been previously shown to be similar to that of the wild type protein, HPLC6 (defined here as TTTT). The solution structure reveals an alphahelix bent in the same direction as the more bent conformer of the published crystal structure of TTTT, while the side chain chi1 rotamers of VVVV2KE are similar to those of the straighter conformer in the crystal of TTTT. The Val side chains of VVVV2KE assume the same orientations as the Thr side chains of TTTT, confirming the conservative nature of this mutation. The combined data suggest that AFP I undergoes an equilibrium between straight and bent helices in solution, combined with independent equilibria between different side chain rotamers for some of the amino acid residues. The present study presents the first complete sequence-specific resonance assignments and the first complete solution structure determination by NMR of any AFP I protein. (+info)
Freezing of a fish antifreeze protein results in amyloid fibril formation.
Amyloid is associated with a number of diseases including Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and the spongiform encephalopathies. Amyloid fibrils have been formed in vitro from both disease and nondisease related proteins, but the latter requires extremes of pH, heat, or the presence of a chaotropic agent. We show, using fluorescence spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and solid-state NMR spectroscopy, that the alpha-helical type I antifreeze protein from the winter flounder forms amyloid fibrils at pH 4 and 7 upon freezing and thawing. Our results demonstrate that the freezing of some proteins may accelerate the formation of amyloid fibrils. (+info)
The effect of hydrophobic analogues of the type I winter flounder antifreeze protein on lipid bilayers.
The effect of four synthetic analogues of the 37-residue winter flounder type I antifreeze protein (AFP), which contain four Val, Ala or Ile residues in place of Thr residues at positions 2, 13, 24 and 37 and two additional salt bridges, on the binary lipid system prepared from a 1:1 mixture of the highly unsaturated DGDG and saturated DMPC has been determined using FTIR spectroscopy. In contrast to the natural protein, which increases the thermotropic phase transition, the Thr, Val and Ala analogues decreased the thermotropic phase transitions of the liposomes by 2.2 degrees Celsius, 3.4 degrees Celsius and 2.4 degrees Celsius, while the Ile analogue had no effect on the transition. Experiments performed using perdeuterated DMPC showed that the Ala and Thr peptides interacted preferentially with the DGDG in the lipid mixture, while the Val peptide showed no preference for either lipid. The results are consistent with interactions involving the hydrophobic face of type I AFPs and model bilayers, i.e. the same face of the protein that is responsible for antifreeze properties. The different effects correlate with the helicity of the peptides and suggest that the solution conformation of the peptides has a significant role in determining the effects of the peptides on thermotropic membrane phase transitions. (+info)
Hyperactive antifreeze protein from winter flounder is a very long rod-like dimer of alpha-helices.
The winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) produces short, monomeric alpha-helical antifreeze proteins (type I AFP), which adsorb to and inhibit the growth of ice crystals. These proteins alone are not sufficiently active to protect this fish against freezing at -1.9 degrees C, the freezing point of seawater. We have recently isolated a hyperactive antifreeze protein from the plasma of the flounder with activity 10-100-fold higher than type I AFP. It is comparable in activity to the AFPs produced by insects, and is capable of conferring freeze resistance to the flounder. This novel AFP has a molecular mass of 16,683 Da and a remarkable amino acid composition that is >60% alanine. CD spectra indicate that the protein is almost entirely alpha-helical at 4 degrees C but partially denatures at 20 degrees C, resulting in a species with a moderately reduced helix content that is stable at up to 50 degrees C. This transformation correlates with irreversible loss of activity. Analytical ultracentrifugation (sedimentation velocity and equilibrium) indicates that the predominant species in solution is dimeric (molecular weight, 32,275). Size-exclusion chromatography reveals a 2-fold higher apparent molecular weight suggesting that this molecule has an unusually large Stokes radius. The axial ratio of the dimer calculated from the sedimentation velocity data is 18:1, confirming that this protein has an extraordinarily long, rod-like structure, consistent with a novel dimeric alpha-helical arrangement. The structural model that best fits these data is one in which the approximately 195 amino acids of each monomer form one approximately 290-A long alpha-helix and associate via a unique dimerization motif that is distinct from that of the leucine zipper and any other coiled-coil. (+info)
Type I antifreeze proteins expressed in snailfish skin are identical to their plasma counterparts.
Type I antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are usually small, Ala-rich alpha-helical polypeptides found in right-eyed flounders and certain species of sculpin. These proteins are divided into two distinct subclasses, liver type and skin type, which are encoded by separate gene families. Blood plasma from Atlantic (Liparis atlanticus) and dusky (Liparis gibbus) snailfish contain type I AFPs that are significantly larger than all previously described type I AFPs. In this study, full-length cDNA clones that encode snailfish type I AFPs expressed in skin tissues were generated using a combination of library screening and PCR-based methods. The skin clones, which lack both signal and pro-sequences, produce proteins that are identical to circulating plasma AFPs. Although all fish examined consistently express antifreeze mRNA in skin tissue, there is extreme individual variation in liver expression - an unusual phenomenon that has never been reported previously. Furthermore, genomic Southern blot analysis revealed that snailfish AFPs are products of multigene families that consist of up to 10 gene copies per genome. The 113-residue snailfish AFPs do not contain any obvious amino acid repeats or continuous hydrophobic face which typify the structure of most other type I AFPs. These structural differences might have implications for their ice-crystal binding properties. These results are the first to demonstrate a dual liver/skin role of identical type I AFP expression which may represent an evolutionary intermediate prior to divergence into distinct gene families. (+info)