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Journal/Book: Biochemistry
Published: 1995
Pages: 13219–13232
Volume: 34
Accession no.: 20

Characterization of conformational preferences in a partly folded protein by heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy: assignment and secondary structure analysis of hen egg-white lysozyme in trifluoroethanol.

M. Buck, H. Schwalbe, C. M. Dobson
2D and 3D heteronuclear NMR methods have been used to characterize the structure of hen egg-white lysozyme in a partially folded state using uniformly 15N-labeled protein. This state is formed by the denaturation of the protein in 70% trifluoroethanol (TFE)/30% water (v/v) and is characterized by substantial helical secondary structure in the absence of extensive tertiary interactions. 15N-filtered 3D NOESY and TOCSY experiments have allowed the sequential assignment of resonances for all but 2 of the 126 main chain amide nitrogen atoms and of the majority of main and side chain proton resonances. The conformation of the polypeptide chain was characterized by analysis of the pattern of NOEs, H alpha chemical shift perturbations, 3J(HN, H alpha)-coupling constants, and hydrogen exchange protection. These NMR parameters are highly complementary and are consistent with a model for the TFE state in which six regions of the polypeptide chain are substantially ordered in helical conformations. The structure in different regions however, shows different levels of persistency. Five of the helices exhibit significant protection of amide hydrogens against exchange with solvent and are located in regions of the polypeptide which are helical in the native state. By contrast, helical structures of greater flexibility are observed both as extensions to the native-like helices and as a nonnative structure in the region of the molecule which forms the C-terminal part of the beta-sheet in the native state. No specific structural preferences are detected in regions corresponding to the long loop and to the N-terminal part of the beta-sheet of native lysozyme. A combination of local features of the polypeptide chain, including the predicted propensities of residues for helix formation and for their participation in N- and C-terminal helix capping interactions, allows the conformational behavior of the polypeptide chain of hen lysozyme to be rationalized for this partially folded state. The analysis implies that the nonnative structures are a result of interactions which are local to the polypeptide chain. These, and the highly persistent native-like structures, give insight into species which form early during folding.
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Prof. Dr. Harald Schwalbe
Institut für Organische Chemie und Chemische Biologie
Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität
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