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Probing the formation of stable tertiary structure in a model miniprotein at atomic resolution: Determinants of stability of a helical hairpin
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
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2007 (English)In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0002-7863, E-ISSN 1520-5126, Vol. 129, no 28, 8811-8817 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The minimal model system to study the basic principles of protein folding is the hairpin. The formation of beta-hairpins, which are the basic components of antiparallel beta-sheets, has been studied extensively in the past decade, but much less is known about helical hairpins. Here, we probe hairpin formation between a polyproline type-II helix and an alpha-helix as present in the natural miniprotein peptide YY (PYY). Both turn sequence and interactions of aromatic side chains from the C-terminal alpha-helix with the pockets formed by N-terminal Pro residues are shown by site-directed mutagenesis and solution NMR spectroscopy in different solvent systems to be important determinants of backbone dynamics and hairpin stability, suggesting a close analogy with some beta-hairpin structures. It is shown that multiple relatively weak contacts between the helices are necessary for the formation of the helical hairpin studied here, whereas the type-I beta-turn acts like a hinge, which through certain single amino acid substitutions is destabilized such that hairpin formation is completely abolished. Denaturation and renaturation of tertiary structure by temperature or cosolvents were probed by measuring changes of chemical shifts. Folding of PYY is both reversible and cooperative as inferred from the sigmoidal denaturation curves displayed by residues at the interface of the helical hairpin. Such miniproteins thus feature an important hallmark of globular proteins and should provide a convenient system to study basic aspects of helical hairpin folding that are complementary to those derived from studies of beta-hairpins.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 129, no 28, 8811-8817 p.
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Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55891DOI: 10.1021/ja0716960ISI: 000247966200035OAI: diva2:409538
authorCount :5Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-03-30 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved

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Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsDepartment of Physics
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