Affinity modulation of small-molecule ligands by borrowing endogenous protein surfaces.
A general strategy is described for improving the binding properties of small-molecule ligands to protein targets. A bifunctional molecule is created by chemically linking a ligand of interest to another small molecule that binds tightly to a second protein. When the ligand of interest is presented to the target protein by the second protein, additional protein-protein interactions outside of the ligand-binding sites serve either to increase or decrease the affinity of the binding event. We have applied this approach to an intractable target, the SH2 domain, and demonstrate a 3-fold enhancement over the natural peptide. This approach provides a way to modulate the potency and specificity of biologically active compounds. (+info
Energy-based de novo protein folding by conformational space annealing and an off-lattice united-residue force field: application to the 10-55 fragment of staphylococcal protein A and to apo calbindin D9K.
The conformational space annealing (CSA) method for global optimization has been applied to the 10-55 fragment of the B-domain of staphylococcal protein A (protein A) and to a 75-residue protein, apo calbindin D9K (PDB ID code), by using the UNRES off-lattice united-residue force field. Although the potential was not calibrated with these two proteins, the native-like structures were found among the low-energy conformations, without the use of threading or secondary-structure predictions. This is because the CSA method can find many distinct families of low-energy conformations. Starting from random conformations, the CSA method found that there are two families of low-energy conformations for each of the two proteins, the native-like fold and its mirror image. The CSA method converged to the same low-energy folds in all cases studied, as opposed to other optimization methods. It appears that the CSA method with the UNRES force field, which is based on the thermodynamic hypothesis, can be used in prediction of protein structures in real time. (+info
Domain organization of flagellar hook protein from Salmonella typhimurium.
Hook forms a universal joint, which mediates the torque of the flagellar motor to the outer helical filaments. Domain organization of hook protein from Salmonella typhimurium was investigated by exploring thermal denaturation properties of its proteolytic fragments. The most stable part of hook protein involves residues 148 to 355 and consists of two domains, as revealed by deconvolution analysis of the calorimetric melting profiles. Residues 72-147 and 356-370 form another domain, while the terminal regions of the molecule, residues 1-71 and 371-403, avoid a compact tertiary structure in the monomeric state. These folding domains were assigned to the morphological domains of hook subunits known from EM image reconstructions, revealing the overall folding of hook protein in its filamentous state. (+info
Thermodynamics of the reconstitution of tuna cytochrome c from two peptide fragments.
Two peptide fragments from tuna cytochrome c (cyt c), N-fragment (residues 1-44 containing the heme) and C-fragment (residues 45-103), combine to form a 1:1 fragment complex. This was clearly proved by ion-spray mass spectrometry. It was found from CD and NMR spectra that the structure of the fragment complex formed is similar to that of an intact cyt c, although each isolated fragment itself is unstructured. Binding constants and enthalpies upon the complex formation were directly observed by isothermal titration calorimetry. Thermodynamic parameters (deltaG(o)b, deltaHb, deltaS(o)b, and deltaC(b)p)) associated with the complex formation were determined at various pHs and temperatures. DeltaHb was found to be almost independent of pH values. The change in heat capacity accompanying the complex formation (deltaC(b)p) was directly determined from the temperature dependence of deltaHb. In addition, the change in heat capacity and enthalpy upon tuna cyt c unfolding were determined by differential scanning calorimetry. Thermodynamic parameters for the unfolding/dissociation process of the fragment complex were compared with those for cyt c unfolding at pH 3.9 and 303 K. In a comparison of two unfolding processes, the heat capacity change of each was very close to the other, while both the unfolding enthalpy and entropy of the fragment complex were larger than those of tuna cyt c. These thermodynamic data suggest that the internal interactions between polar groups (hydrogen bonding) and nonpolar groups (van der Waals interactions) are preserved in the fragment complex as well as in the native state of cyt c. (+info
Time-resolved absorption and photothermal measurements with sensory rhodopsin I from Halobacterium salinarum.
An expansion accompanying the formation of the first intermediate in the photocycle of transducer-free sensory rhodopsin I (SRI) was determined by means of time-resolved laser-induced optoacoustic spectroscopy. For the native protein (SRI-WT), the absolute value of the expansion is approximately 5.5 mL and for the mutant SRI-D76N, approximately 1.5 mL per mol of phototransformed species (in 0.5 M NaCl), calculated by using the formation quantum yield for the first intermediate (S610) of Phi610 = 0.4 +/- 0.05 for SRI-WT and 0.5 +/- 0.05 for SRI-D76N, measured by laser-induced optoacoustic spectroscopy and by laser flash photolysis. The similarity in Phi610 and in the determined value of the energy level of S610, E610 = (142 +/- 12) kJ/mol for SRI-WT and SRI-D76N indicates that Asp76 is not directly involved in the first step of the phototransformation. The increase with pH of the magnitude of the structural volume change for the formation of S610 in SRI-WT and in SRI-D76N upon excitation with 580 nm indicates also that amino acids other than Asp76, and other than those related to the Schiff base, are involved in the process. The difference in structural volume changes as well as differences in the activation parameters for the S610 decay should be attributed to differences in the rigidity of the cavity surrounding the chromophore. Except for the decay of the first intermediate, which is faster than in the SRI-transducer complex, the rate constants of the photocycle for transducer-free SRI in detergent suspension are strongly retarded with respect to wild-type membranes (this comparison should be done with great care because the preparation of both samples is very different). (+info
Mechanical and chemical unfolding of a single protein: a comparison.
Is the mechanical unraveling of protein domains by atomic force microscopy (AFM) just a technological feat or a true measurement of their unfolding? By engineering a protein made of tandem repeats of identical Ig modules, we were able to get explicit AFM data on the unfolding rate of a single protein domain that can be accurately extrapolated to zero force. We compare this with chemical unfolding rates for untethered modules extrapolated to 0 M denaturant. The unfolding rates obtained by the two methods are the same. Furthermore, the transition state for unfolding appears at the same position on the folding pathway when assessed by either method. These results indicate that mechanical unfolding of a single protein by AFM does indeed reflect the same event that is observed in traditional unfolding experiments. The way is now open for the extensive use of AFM to measure folding reactions at the single-molecule level. Single-molecule AFM recordings have the added advantage that they define the reaction coordinate and expose rare unfolding events that cannot be observed in the absence of chemical denaturants. (+info
Interaction of heparin with annexin V.
The energetics and kinetics of the interaction of heparin with the Ca2+ and phospholipid binding protein annexin V, was examined and the minimum oligosaccharide sequence within heparin that binds annexin V was identified. Affinity chromatography studies confirmed the Ca2+ dependence of this binding interaction. Analysis of the data obtained from surface plasmon resonance afforded a Kd of approximately 21 nM for the interaction of annexin V with end-chain immobilized heparin and a Kd of approximately 49 nM for the interaction with end-chain immobilized heparan sulfate. Isothermal titration calorimetry showed the minimum annexin V binding oligosaccharide sequence within heparin corresponds to an octasaccharide sequence. The Kd of a heparin octasaccharide binding to annexin V was approximately 1 microM with a binding stoichiometry of 1:1. (+info
Glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in inactive inflammatory bowel disease.
BACKGROUND: Inflammatory mediator concentration was found to be increased in active inflammatory bowel disease, and this could be related to an insulin-resistant state. Moreover, glucocorticoids, which are widely used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, are notoriously related to insulin resistance. AIM: To measure body composition, whole body glucose uptake and oxidation in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients with inactive disease. METHODS: All patients had clinical, ultrasound and biochemical assessment. Body composition was determined by isotopic dilution technique; basal metabolic rate and substrate oxidation were measured by indirect calorimetry. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp. Ten patients with inactive Crohn's disease (five males, aged 31.1 +/- 7.0 years) and 10 patients with inactive ulcerative colitis (five males, aged 33.4 +/- 8.8 years) participated in the study. Forty healthy subjects, matched for age and height were used as a control group. RESULTS: Crohn's disease patients showed lower BMI (P < 0.001), fat mass (P < 0.05) and respiratory quotient (P < 0.001) values compared to both ulcerative colitis and control subjects. No difference in peripheral glucose uptake (micromol/kg/min) was found between groups (respectively 42.5 +/- 6.78 in Crohn's disease, 40.2 +/- 8.00 in ulcerative colitis and 41.4 +/- 10.8 in control subjects). Glucose storage and oxidation did not differ between groups. CONCLUSION: Our data showed that inflammatory bowel disease patients in a remission phase of the disease activity had a whole body glucose uptake and oxidation similar to those of control subjects, probably due to fat-free mass preservation and low blood and tissue cytokine concentration. (+info