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Journal/Book: Biochemistry
Published: 1997
Pages: 8977–8991
Volume: 36
Accession no.: 27

Structural and dynamical properties of a denatured protein. Heteronuclear 3D NMR experiments and theoretical simulations of lysozyme in 8 M urea.

H. Schwalbe, K. M. Fiebig, M. Buck, J. A. Jones, S. B. Grimshaw, A. Spencer, S. J. Glaser, L. J. Smith, C. M. Dobson
Oxidized and reduced hen lysozyme denatured in 8 M urea at low pH have been studied in detail by NMR methods. 15N correlated NOESY and TOCSY experiments have provided near complete sequential assignment for both 1H and 15N resonances. Over 900 NOEs, including 130 (i, i + 2) and 23 (i, i + 3) NOEs, could be identified by analysis of the NOESY spectra of the denatured states, and 3J(HN, Halpha) coupling constants and 15N relaxation rates have been measured. The coupling constant and NOE data were analyzed by comparisons with theoretical predictions from a random coil polypeptide model based on amino acid specific phi,psi distributions extracted from the protein data bank. There is significant agreement between predicted and experimental NMR parameters suggesting that local conformations of the denatured states are largely determined by short-range interactions within the polypeptide chain. This result is supported by the observation that the chemical shift, coupling constant, and NOE data are little affected by whether or not the four disulfide bridge cross-links are formed in the denatured protein. The relaxation data, however, show significant differences between the oxidized and reduced protein. Analysis of the relaxation data in terms of simple dynamics models provides evidence for weak clustering of hydrophobic groups near tryptophan residues and increased barriers to motion in the more compact conformers formed when the polypeptide chain is cross-linked by the disulfide bridges. Using this information, a structural description of these denatured states is given in terms of an ensemble of conformers, which have a complex relationship between their local and global characteristics.
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Prof. Dr. Harald Schwalbe
Institut für Organische Chemie und Chemische Biologie
Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität
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D-60438 Frankfurt am Main
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