Clusters of branched aliphatic side chains serve as cores of stability in the native state of the HisF TIM barrel protein.
ABSTRACT: Imidazole-3-glycerol phosphate synthase is a heterodimeric allosteric enzyme that catalyzes consecutive reactions in imidazole biosynthesis through its HisF and HisH subunits. The unusually slow unfolding reaction of the isolated HisF TIM barrel domain from the thermophilic bacteria, Thermotoga maritima, enabled an NMR-based site-specific analysis of the main-chain hydrogen bonds that stabilize its native conformation. Very strong protection against exchange with solvent deuterium in the native state was found in a subset of buried positions in ?-helices and pervasively in the underlying ?-strands associated with a pair of large clusters of isoleucine, leucine and valine (ILV) side chains located in the ?7(??)8(??)1-2 and ?2(??)3-6?7 segments of the (??)8 barrel. The most densely packed region of the large cluster, ?3(??)4-6?7, correlates closely with the core of stability previously observed in computational, protein engineering and NMR dynamics studies, demonstrating a key role for this cluster in determining the thermodynamic and structural properties of the native state of HisF. When considered with the results of previous studies where ILV clusters were found to stabilize the hydrogen-bonded networks in folding intermediates for other TIM barrel proteins, it appears that clusters of branched aliphatic side chains can serve as cores of stability across the entire folding reaction coordinate of one of the most common motifs in biology.
Project description:Recent molecular dynamics simulations have suggested important roles for nanoscale dewetting in the stability, function, and folding dynamics of proteins. Using a synergistic simulation-experimental approach on the ?TS TIM barrel protein, we validated this hypothesis by revealing the occurrence of drying inside hydrophobic amino acid clusters and its manifestation in experimental measures of protein stability and structure. Cavities created within three clusters of branched aliphatic amino acids [isoleucine, leucine, and valine (ILV) clusters] were found to experience strong water density fluctuations or intermittent dewetting transitions in simulations. Individually substituting 10 residues in the large ILV cluster at the N-terminus with less hydrophobic alanines showed a weakening or diminishing effect on dewetting that depended on the site of the mutation. Our simulations also demonstrated that replacement of buried leucines with isosteric, polar asparagines enhanced the wetting of the N- and C-terminal clusters. The experimental results on the stability, secondary structure, and compactness of the native and intermediate states for the asparagine variants are consistent with the preferential drying of the large N-terminal cluster in the intermediate. By contrast, the region encompassing the small C-terminal cluster experiences only partial drying in the intermediate, and its structure and stability are unaffected by the asparagine substitution. Surprisingly, the structural distortions required to accommodate the replacement of leucine by asparagine in the N-terminal cluster revealed the existence of alternative stable folds in the native basin. This combined simulation-experimental study demonstrates the critical role of drying within hydrophobic ILV clusters in the folding and stability of the ?TS TIM barrel.
Project description:Protein misfolding is now recognized as playing a crucial role in both normal and pathogenic folding reactions. An interesting example of misfolding at the earliest state of a natural folding reaction is provided by the alpha-subunit of tryptophan synthase, a (beta/alpha)(8) TIM barrel protein. The molecular basis for the formation of this off-pathway misfolded intermediate, I(BP), and a subsequent on-pathway intermediate, I1, was probed by mutational analysis of 20 branched aliphatic side-chains distributed throughout the sequence. The elimination of I(BP) and the substantial destabilization of I1 by replacement of a selective set of the isoleucine, leucine or valine residues (ILV) with alanine in a large ILV cluster external-to-the-barrel and spanning the N and C termini (cluster 2) implies tight-packing at most sites in both intermediates. Differential effects on I(BP) and I1 for replacements in alpha3, beta4 and alpha8 at the boundaries of cluster 2 suggest that their incorporation into I1 but not I(BP) reflects non-native folds at the edges of the crucial (beta/alpha)(1-2)beta(3) core in I(BP). The retention of I(BP) and the smaller and consistent destabilization of both I(BP) and I1 by similar replacements in an internal-to-the-barrel ILV cluster (cluster 1) and a second external-to-the-barrel ILV cluster (cluster 3) imply molten globule-like packing. The tight packing inferred, in part, for I(BP) or for all of I1 in cluster 2, but not in clusters 1 and 3, may reflect the larger size of cluster 2 and/or the enhanced number of isoleucine, leucine and valine self-contacts in and between contiguous elements of secondary structure. Tightly packed ILV-dominated hydrophobic clusters could serve as an important driving force for the earliest events in the folding and misfolding of the TIM barrel and other members of the (beta/alpha)(n) class of proteins.
Project description:HisH-hisF is a multidomain globular protein complex; hisH is a class I glutamine amidotransferase that hydrolyzes glutamine to form ammonia, and hisF is a (beta/alpha)8 barrel cyclase that completes the ring formation of imidizole glycerol phosphate synthase. Together, hisH and hisF form a glutamine amidotransferase that carries out the fifth step of the histidine biosynthetic pathway. Recently, it has been suggested that the (beta/alpha)8 barrel participates in a novel function: to channel ammonia from the active site of hisH to the active site of hisF. The present study presents a series of molecular dynamic simulations that investigate the channeling function of hisF. This article reconstructs potentials of mean force for the conduction of ammonia through the channel, and the entrance of ammonia through the strictly conserved channel gate, in both a closed and a hypothetical open conformation. The resulting energy landscape within the channel supports the idea that ammonia does indeed pass through the barrel, interacting with conserved hydrophilic residues along the way. The proposed open conformation, which involves an alternate rotamer state of one of the gate residues, presents only an approximately 2.5-kcal energy barrier to ammonia entry. Another alternate open-gate conformation, which may play a role in non-nitrogen-fixing organisms, is deduced through bioinformatics.
Project description:Measurements of protection against exchange of main chain amide hydrogens (NH) with solvent hydrogens in globular proteins have provided remarkable insights into the structures of rare high-energy states that populate their folding free-energy surfaces. Lacking, however, has been a unifying theory that rationalizes these high-energy states in terms of the structures and sequences of their resident proteins. The Branched Aliphatic Side Chain (BASiC) hypothesis has been developed to explain the observed patterns of protection in a pair of TIM barrel proteins. This hypothesis supposes that the side chains of isoleucine, leucine, and valine (ILV) residues often form large hydrophobic clusters that very effectively impede the penetration of water to their underlying hydrogen bond networks and, thereby, enhance the protection against solvent exchange. The linkage between the secondary and tertiary structures enables these ILV clusters to serve as cores of stability in high-energy partially folded states. Statistically significant correlations between the locations of large ILV clusters in native conformations and strong protection against exchange for a variety of motifs reported in the literature support the generality of the BASiC hypothesis. The results also illustrate the necessity to elaborate this simple hypothesis to account for the roles of adjacent hydrocarbon moieties in defining stability cores of partially folded states along folding reaction coordinates.
Project description:IGPS is a 51 kDa heterodimeric enzyme comprised of two proteins, HisH and HisF, that catalyze the hydrolysis of glutamine to produce NH(3) in the HisH active site and the cyclization of ammonia with N'-[(5'-phosphoribulosyl)formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-ribonucleotide (PRFAR) in HisF to produce imidazole glycerol phosphate (IGP) and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribotide (AICAR). Binding of PRFAR and IGP stimulates glutaminase activity in the HisH enzyme over 5,000 and 100-fold, respectively, despite the active sites being >25 A apart. The details of this long-range protein communication process were investigated by solution NMR spectroscopy and CPMG relaxation dispersion experiments. Formation of the heterodimer enzyme results in a reduction in millisecond motions in HisF that extend throughout the protein. Binding of lGP results in an increase in protein-wide millisecond dynamics evidenced as severe NMR line broadening and elevated R (ex) values. Together, these data demonstrate a grouping of flexible residues that link the HisF active site with the protein interface to which HisH binds and provide a model for the path of communication between the IGPS active sites.
Project description:Gene fusion produces proteins with novel structural architectures during evolution. Recent comparative genome analysis shows several cases of fusion/fission across distant phylogeny. However, the selection forces driving gene fusion are not fully understood due to the lack of structural, dynamics and kinetics data. Available structural data at PDB (protein databank) contains limited cases of structural pairs describing fused and un-fused structures. Nonetheless, we identified a pair of IGPS (imidazole glycerol phosphate synthetase) structures (comprising of HisF - glutaminase unit and HisH - cyclase unit) from S. cerevisiae (SC) and T. thermophilus (TT). The HisF-HisH structural units are domains in SC and subunits in TT. Hence, they are fused in SC and un-fused in TT. Subsequently, a domain-domain interface is formed in SC and a subunit-subunit interface in TT between HisF and HisH. Our interest is to document the structure and dynamics differences between fused and un-fused IGPS. Therefore, we probed into the structures of fused IGPS in SC and un-fused IGPS in TT using molecular dynamics simulation for 5ns. Simulation shows that fused IGPS in SC has larger interface area between HisF-HisH and greater radius of gyration compared to un-fused IGPS in TT. These structural features for the first time demonstrate the evolutionary advantage in generating proteins with novel structural architecture through gene fusion.
Project description:Gene duplication and fusion events that multiply and link functional protein domains are crucial mechanisms of enzyme evolution. The analysis of amino acid sequences and three-dimensional structures suggested that the (betaalpha)8-barrel, which is the most frequent fold among enzymes, has evolved by the duplication, fusion, and mixing of (betaalpha)4-half-barrel domains. Here, we mimicked this evolutionary strategy by generating in vitro (betaalpha)8-barrels from (betaalpha)4-half-barrels that were deduced from the enzymes imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase (HisF) and N'[(5'-phosphoribosyl)formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-ribonucleotide isomerase (HisA). To this end, the gene for the C-terminal (betaalpha)4-half-barrel (HisF-C) of HisF was duplicated and fused in tandem to yield HisF-CC, which is more stable than HisF-C. In the next step, by optimizing side-chain interactions within the center of the beta-barrel of HisF-CC, the monomeric and compact (betaalpha)8-barrel protein HisF-C*C was generated. Moreover, the genes for the N- and C-terminal (betaalpha)4-half-barrels of HisF and HisA were fused crosswise to yield the chimeric proteins HisFA and HisAF. Whereas HisFA contains native secondary structure elements but adopts ill-defined association states, the (betaalpha)8-barrel HisAF is a stable and compact monomer that reversibly unfolds with high cooperativity. The results obtained suggest a previously undescribed dimension for the diversification of enzymatic activities: new (betaalpha)8-barrels with novel functions might have evolved by the exchange of (betaalpha)4-half-barrel domains with distinct functional properties.
Project description:The GroEL/ES chaperonin system functions as a protein folding cage. Many obligate substrates of GroEL share the (??)8 TIM-barrel fold, but how the chaperonin promotes folding of these proteins is not known. Here, we analyzed the folding of DapA at peptide resolution using hydrogen/deuterium exchange and mass spectrometry. During spontaneous folding, all elements of the DapA TIM barrel acquire structure simultaneously in a process associated with a long search time. In contrast, GroEL/ES accelerates folding more than 30-fold by catalyzing segmental structure formation in the TIM barrel. Segmental structure formation is also observed during the fast spontaneous folding of a structural homolog of DapA from a bacterium that lacks GroEL/ES. Thus, chaperonin independence correlates with folding properties otherwise enforced by protein confinement in the GroEL/ES cage. We suggest that folding catalysis by GroEL/ES is required by a set of proteins to reach native state at a biologically relevant timescale, avoiding aggregation or degradation.
Project description:To test the roles of motif and amino acid sequence in the folding mechanisms of TIM barrel proteins, hydrogen-deuterium exchange was used to explore the structure of the stable folding intermediates for the of indole-3-glycerol phosphate synthase from Sulfolobus solfataricus (sIGPS). Previous studies of the urea denaturation of sIGPS revealed the presence of an intermediate that is highly populated at approximately 4.5 M urea and contains approximately 50% of the secondary structure of the native (N) state. Kinetic studies showed that this apparent equilibrium intermediate is actually comprised of two thermodynamically distinct species, I(a) and I(b). To probe the location of the secondary structure in this pair of stable on-pathway intermediates, the equilibrium unfolding process of sIGPS was monitored by hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry. The intact protein and pepsin-digested fragments were studied at various concentrations of urea by electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, respectively. Intact sIGPS strongly protects at least 54 amide protons from hydrogen-deuterium exchange in the intermediate states, demonstrating the presence of stable folded cores. When the protection patterns and the exchange mechanisms for the peptides are considered with the proposed folding mechanism, the results can be interpreted to define the structural boundaries of I(a) and I(b). Comparison of these results with previous hydrogen-deuterium exchange studies on another TIM barrel protein of low sequence identify, alpha-tryptophan synthase (alphaTS), indicates that the thermodynamic states corresponding to the folding intermediates are better conserved than their structures. Although the TIM barrel motif appears to define the basic features of the folding free energy surface, the structures of the partially folded states that appear during the folding reaction depend on the amino acid sequence. Markedly, the good correlation between the hydrogen-deuterium exchange patterns of sIGPS and alphaTS with the locations of hydrophobic clusters defined by isoleucine, leucine, and valine residues suggests that branch aliphatic side-chains play a critical role in defining the structures of the equilibrium intermediates.
Project description:The role of hither-to-fore unrecognized long-range hydrogen bonds between main-chain amide hydrogens and polar side chains on the stability of a well-studied (betaalpha)8, TIM barrel protein, the alpha subunit of tryptophan synthase (alphaTS), was probed by mutational analysis. The F19-D46 and I97-D124 hydrogen bonds link the N terminus of a beta-strand with the C terminus of the succeeding antiparallel alpha-helix, and the A103-D130 hydrogen bond links the N terminus of an alpha-helix with the C terminus of the succeeding antiparallel beta-strand, forming clamps for the respective betaalpha or alphabeta hairpins. The individual replacement of these aspartic acid side chains with alanine leads to what appear to be closely related partially folded structures with significantly reduced far-UV CD ellipticity and thermodynamic stability. Comparisons with the effects of eliminating another main-chain-side-chain hydrogen bond, G26-S33, and two electrostatic side-chain-side-chain hydrogen bonds, D38-H92 and D112-H146, all in the same N-terminal folding unit of alphaTS, demonstrated a unique role for the clamp interactions in stabilizing the native barrel conformation. Because neither the asparagine nor glutamic acid variant at position 46 can completely reproduce the spectroscopic, thermodynamic, or kinetic folding properties of aspartic acid, both size and charge are crucial to its unique role in the clamp hydrogen bond. Kinetic studies suggest that the three clamp hydrogen bonds act in concert to stabilize the transition state leading to the fully folded TIM barrel motif.