Limited proteolysis of the 153-residue chain of horse apomyoglobin (apoMb) by thermolysin results in the selective cleavage of the peptide bond Pro88-Leu89. The N-terminal (residues 1-88) and C-terminal (residues 89-153) fragments of apoMb were isolated to homogeneity and their conformational and association properties investigated in detail. Far-UV circular dichroism (CD) measurements revealed that both fragments in isolation acquire a high content of helical secondary structure, while near-UV CD indicated the absence of tertiary structure. A 1:1 mixture of the fragments leads to a tight noncovalent protein complex (1-88/89-153, nicked apoMb), characterized by secondary and tertiary structures similar to those of intact apoMb. The apoMb complex binds heme in a nativelike manner, as given by CD measurements in the Soret region. Second-derivative absorption spectra in the 250-300 nm region provided evidence that the degree of exposure of Tyr residues in the nicked species is similar to that of the intact protein at neutral pH. Also, the microenvironment of Trp residues, located in positions 7 and 14 of the 153-residue chain of the protein, is similar in both protein species, as given by fluorescence emission data. Moreover, in analogy to intact apoMb, the nicked protein binds the hydrophobic dye 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (ANS). Taken together, our results indicate that the two proteolytic fragments 1-88 and 89-153 of apoMb adopt partly folded states characterized by sufficiently nativelike conformational features that promote their specific association and mutual stabilization into a nicked protein species much resembling in its structural features intact apoMb. It is suggested that the formation of a noncovalent complex upon fragment complementation can mimic the protein folding process of the entire protein chain, with the difference that the folding of the complementary fragments is an intermolecular process. In particular, this study emphasizes the importance of interactions between marginally stable elements of secondary structure in promoting the tertiary contacts of a native protein. Considering that apoMb has been extensively used as a paradigm in protein folding studies for the past few decades, the novel fragment complementing system of apoMb here described appears to be very useful for investigating the initial as well as late events in protein folding.

Nicked Apomyoglobin: A Noncovalent Complex of Two Polypeptide Fragments Comprising the Entire Protein Chain

SPOLAORE, BARBARA;PICOTTI, PAOLA;DE FILIPPIS, VINCENZO;FONTANA, ANGELO
2004

Abstract

Limited proteolysis of the 153-residue chain of horse apomyoglobin (apoMb) by thermolysin results in the selective cleavage of the peptide bond Pro88-Leu89. The N-terminal (residues 1-88) and C-terminal (residues 89-153) fragments of apoMb were isolated to homogeneity and their conformational and association properties investigated in detail. Far-UV circular dichroism (CD) measurements revealed that both fragments in isolation acquire a high content of helical secondary structure, while near-UV CD indicated the absence of tertiary structure. A 1:1 mixture of the fragments leads to a tight noncovalent protein complex (1-88/89-153, nicked apoMb), characterized by secondary and tertiary structures similar to those of intact apoMb. The apoMb complex binds heme in a nativelike manner, as given by CD measurements in the Soret region. Second-derivative absorption spectra in the 250-300 nm region provided evidence that the degree of exposure of Tyr residues in the nicked species is similar to that of the intact protein at neutral pH. Also, the microenvironment of Trp residues, located in positions 7 and 14 of the 153-residue chain of the protein, is similar in both protein species, as given by fluorescence emission data. Moreover, in analogy to intact apoMb, the nicked protein binds the hydrophobic dye 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (ANS). Taken together, our results indicate that the two proteolytic fragments 1-88 and 89-153 of apoMb adopt partly folded states characterized by sufficiently nativelike conformational features that promote their specific association and mutual stabilization into a nicked protein species much resembling in its structural features intact apoMb. It is suggested that the formation of a noncovalent complex upon fragment complementation can mimic the protein folding process of the entire protein chain, with the difference that the folding of the complementary fragments is an intermolecular process. In particular, this study emphasizes the importance of interactions between marginally stable elements of secondary structure in promoting the tertiary contacts of a native protein. Considering that apoMb has been extensively used as a paradigm in protein folding studies for the past few decades, the novel fragment complementing system of apoMb here described appears to be very useful for investigating the initial as well as late events in protein folding.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2441596
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