Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry Reveals the Energetics of Intermediates that Guide Polyproline Folding.
ABSTRACT: Proline favors trans-configured peptide bonds in native proteins. Although cis/trans configurations vary for non-native and unstructured states, solvent also influences these preferences. Water induces the all-cis right-handed polyproline-I (PPI) helix of polyproline to fold into the all-trans left-handed polyproline-II (PPII) helix. Our recent work has shown that this occurs via a sequential mechanism involving six resolved intermediates [Shi, L., Holliday, A.E., Shi, H., Zhu, F., Ewing, M.A., Russell, D.H., Clemmer, D.E.: Characterizing intermediates along the transition from PPI to PPII using ion mobility-mass spectrometry. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 12702-12711 (2014)]. Here, we use ion mobility-mass spectrometry to make the first detailed thermodynamic measurements of the folding intermediates, which inform us about how and why this transition occurs. It appears that early intermediates are energetically favorable because of the hydration of the peptide backbone, whereas late intermediates are enthalpically unfavorable. However, folding continues, as the entropy of the system increases upon successive formation of each new structure. When PPII is immersed in 1-propanol, the PPII?PPI transition occurs, but this reaction occurs through a very different mechanism. Early on, the PPII population splits onto multiple pathways that eventually converge through a late intermediate that continues on to the folded PPI helix. Nearly every step is endothermic. Folding results from a stepwise increase in the disorder of the system, allowing a wide-scale search for a critical late intermediate. Overall, the data presented here allow us to establish the first experimentally determined energy surface for biopolymer folding as a function of solution environment.
Project description:Ion mobility spectrometry and circular dichroism spectroscopy are used to examine the populations of the small model peptide, polyproline-13 in water, methanol, ethanol, and 1-propanol over a range of solution temperatures (from 288 to 318 K). At low temperatures, the less-polar solvents (1-propanol and ethanol) favor the all-cis polyproline I helix (PPI); as the temperature is increased, the trans-configured polyproline II helix (PPII) is formed. In polar solvents (methanol and water), PPII is favored at all temperatures. From the experimental data, we determine the relative stabilities of the eight structures in methanol, ethanol, and 1-propanol, as well as four in water, all with respect to PPII. Although these conformers show relatively small differences in free energies, substantial variability is observed in the enthalpies and entropies across the structures and solvents. This requires that enthalpies and entropies be highly correlated: in 1-propanol, cis-configured PPI conformations are energetically favorable but entropically disfavored. In more polar solvents, PPI is enthalpically less favorable and entropy favors trans-configured forms. While either ?H0 or ?S0 can favor different structures, no conformation in any solvent is simultaneously energetically and entropically stabilized. These data present a rare opportunity to examine the origin of conformational stability. Graphical Abstract ?.
Project description:High field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) is well-established as a tool for separating peptide isomers (sequence inversions and post-translationally modified localization variants). Here, we demonstrate the FAIMS is able to differentiate cis and trans isomers of polyproline. Polyproline assumes an all-cis conformation-the PPI helix-in 1-propanol, and an all-trans conformation-the PPII helix-in aqueous solutions. Differentiation of these conformers may be achieved both through use of a cylindrical FAIMS device and a miniaturized ultrahigh field planar FAIMS device. Graphical Abstract ?.
Project description:The structure of the proline amino acid allows folded polyproline peptides to exist as both left- (PPII) and right-handed (PPI) helices. We have characterized the free energy landscapes of hexamer, nanomer, and tridecamer polyproline peptides in gas phase and implicit water as well as explicit hexane and 1-propanol for the nanomer. To enhance the sampling provided by regular molecular dynamics, we used the recently developed adaptively biased molecular dynamics method, which describes Landau free energy maps in terms of relevant collective variables. These maps, as a function of the collective variables of handedness, radius of gyration, and three others based on the peptide torsion angle omega, were used to determine the relative stability of the different structures, along with an estimate of the transition pathways connecting the different minima. Results show the existence of several metastable isomers and therefore provide a complementary view to experimental conclusions based on photo-induced electron transfer experiments with regard to the existence of stable heterogeneous subpopulations in PPII polyproline.
Project description:Aromatic rings exhibit defined interactions via the unique aromatic ? face. Aromatic amino acids interact favorably with proline residues via both the hydrophobic effect and aromatic-proline interactions, C-H/? interactions between the aromatic ? face and proline ring C-H bonds. The canonical aromatic amino acids Trp, Tyr, and Phe strongly disfavor a polyproline helix (PPII) when they are present in proline-rich sequences because of the large populations of cis amide bonds induced by favorable aromatic-proline interactions (aromatic-cis-proline and proline-cis-proline-aromatic interactions). We demonstrate the ability to tune polyproline helix conformation and cis-trans isomerism in proline-rich sequences using aromatic electronic effects. Electron-rich aromatic residues strongly disfavor polyproline helix and exhibit large populations of cis amide bonds, while electron-poor aromatic residues exhibit small populations of cis amide bonds and favor polyproline helix. 4-Aminophenylalanine is a pH-dependent electronic switch of polyproline helix, with cis amide bonds favored as the electron-donating amine, but trans amide bonds and polyproline helix preferred as the electron-withdrawing ammonium. Peptides with block proline-aromatic PPXPPXPPXPP sequences exhibited electronically switchable pH-dependent structures. Electron-poor aromatic amino acids provide special capabilities to integrate aromatic residues into polyproline helices and to serve as the basis of aromatic electronic switches to change structure.
Project description:Leucine rich repeats (LRRs) are present in over 100,000 proteins from viruses to eukaryotes. The LRRs are 20-30 residues long and occur in tandem. LRRs form parallel stacks of short ?-strands and then assume a super helical arrangement called a solenoid structure. Individual LRRs are separated into highly conserved segment (HCS) with the consensus of LxxLxLxxNxL and variable segment (VS). Eight classes have been recognized. Bacterial LRRs are short and characterized by two prolines in the VS; the consensus is xxLPxLPxx with Nine residues (N-subtype) and xxLPxxLPxx with Ten residues (T-subtype). Bacterial LRRs are contained in type III secretion system effectors such as YopM, IpaH3/9.8, SspH1/2, and SlrP from bacteria. Some LRRs in decorin, fribromodulin, TLR8/9, and FLRT2/3 from vertebrate also contain the motifs. In order to understand structural features of bacterial LRRs, we performed both secondary structures assignments using four programs-DSSP-PPII, PROSS, SEGNO, and XTLSSTR-and HELFIT analyses (calculating helix axis, pitch, radius, residues per turn, and handedness), based on the atomic coordinates of their crystal structures. The N-subtype VS adopts a left handed polyproline II helix (PPII) with four, five or six residues and a type I ?-turn at the C-terminal side. Thus, the N-subtype is characterized by a super secondary structure consisting of a PPII and a ?-turn. In contrast, the T-subtype VS prefers two separate PPIIs with two or three and two residues. The HELFIT analysis indicates that the type I ?-turn is a right handed helix. The HELFIT analysis determines three unit vectors of the helix axes of PPII (P), ?-turn (B), and LRR domain (A). Three structural parameters using these three helix axes are suggested to characterize the super secondary structure and the LRR domain.
Project description:Left-handed polyproline II (PPII) helices commonly occur in globular proteins in segments of 4-8 residues. This paper analyzes the structural conservation of PPII-helices in 3 protein families: serine proteinases, aspartic proteinases, and immunoglobulin constant domains. Calculations of the number of conserved segments based on structural alignment of homologous molecules yielded similar results for the PPII-helices, the alpha-helices, and the beta-strands. The PPII-helices are consistently conserved at the level of 100-80% in the proteins with sequence identity above 20% and RMS deviation of structure alignments below 3.0 A. The most structurally important PPII segments are conserved below this level of sequence identity. These results suggest that the PPII-helices, in addition to the other 2 secondary structure classes, should be identified as part of structurally conserved regions in proteins. This is supported by similar values for the local RMS deviations of the aligned segments for the structural classes of PPII-helices, alpha-helices, and beta-strands. The PPII-helices are shown to participate in supersecondary elements such as PPII-helix/alpha-helix. The conservation of PPII-helices depends on the conservation of a supersecondary element as a whole. PPII-helices also form links, possibly flexible, in the interdomain regions. The role of the PPII-helices in model building by homology is 2-fold; they serve as additional conserved elements in the structure allowing improvement of the accuracy of a model and provide correct chain geometry for modeling of the segments equivalenced to them in a target sequence. The improvement in model building is demonstrated in 2 test studies.
Project description:The p15 fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) protein is a nonstructural viral protein that induces cell-cell fusion and syncytium formation. The exceptionally small, myristoylated N-terminal ectodomain of p15 lacks any of the defining features of a typical viral fusion protein. NMR and CD spectroscopy indicate this small fusion module comprises a left-handed polyproline type II (PPII) helix flanked by small, unstructured N and C termini. Individual prolines in the 6-residue proline-rich motif are highly tolerant of alanine substitutions, but multiple substitutions that disrupt the PPII helix eliminate cell-cell fusion activity. A synthetic p15 ectodomain peptide induces lipid mixing between liposomes, but with unusual kinetics that involve a long lag phase before the onset of rapid lipid mixing, and the length of the lag phase correlates with the kinetics of peptide-induced liposome aggregation. Lipid mixing, liposome aggregation, and stable peptide-membrane interactions are all dependent on both the N-terminal myristate and the presence of the PPII helix. We present a model for the mechanism of action of this novel viral fusion peptide, whereby the N-terminal myristate mediates initial, reversible peptide-membrane binding that is stabilized by subsequent amino acid-membrane interactions. These interactions induce a biphasic membrane fusion reaction, with peptide-induced liposome aggregation representing a distinct, rate-limiting event that precedes membrane merger. Although the prolines in the proline-rich motif do not directly interact with membranes, the PPII helix may function to force solvent exposure of hydrophobic amino acid side chains in the regions flanking the helix to promote membrane binding, apposition, and fusion.
Project description:Polyproline type II (PPII) helix has emerged recently as the dominant paradigm for describing the conformation of unfolded polypeptides. However, most experimental observables used to characterize unfolded proteins typically provide only short-range, sequence-local structural information that is both time- and ensemble-averaged, giving limited detail about the long-range structure of the chain. Here, we report a study of a long-range property: the radius of gyration of an alanine-based peptide, Ace-(diaminobutyric acid)2-(Ala)7-(ornithine)2-NH2. This molecule has previously been studied as a model for the unfolded state of proteins under folding conditions and is believed to adopt a PPII fold based on short-range techniques such as NMR and CD. By using synchrotron radiation and small-angle x-ray scattering, we have determined the radius of gyration of this peptide to be 7.4 +/- 0.5 angstroms, which is significantly less than the value expected from an ideal PPII helix in solution (13.1 angstroms). To further study this contradiction, we have used molecular dynamics simulations using six variants of the AMBER force field and the GROMOS 53A6 force field. However, in all cases, the simulated ensembles underestimate the PPII content while overestimating the experimental radius of gyration. The conformational model that we propose, based on our small angle x-ray scattering results and what is known about this molecule from before, is that of a very flexible, fluctuating structure that on the level of individual residues explores a wide basin around the ideal PPII geometry but is never, or only rarely, in the ideal extended PPII helical conformation.
Project description:Molecular processes depending on protein–protein interactions can use consensus recognition sequences that possess defined secondary structures. Left-handed polyproline II (PPII) helices are a class of secondary structure commonly involved with cellular signal transduction. However, unlike -helices, for which a substantial body of work exists regarding applications of ring-closing metathesis (RCM), there are few reports on the stabilization of PPII helices by RCM methodologies. The current study examined the effects of RCM macrocyclization on left-handed PPII helices involved with the SH3 domain-mediated binding of Sos1–Grb2. Starting with the Sos1-derived peptide “Ac-V1-P2-P3-P4-V5-P6-P7-R8-R9-R10-amide,” RCM macrocyclizations were conducted using alkenyl chains of varying lengths originating from the pyrrolidine rings of the Pro4 and Pro7 residues. The resulting macrocyclic peptides showed increased helicity as indicated by circular dichroism and enhanced abilities to block Grb2–Sos1 interactions in cell lysate pull-down assays. The synthetic approach may be useful in RCM macrocyclizations, where maintenance of proline integrity at both ring junctures is desired.
Project description:Systemin, an 18 amino-acid-signaling peptide, was the first plant polypeptide hormone to be discovered. Earlier structural studies involving NMR spectroscopy indicated a lack of definite structure in solution while circular dichroism spectroscopy suggested the presence of left-handed polyproline II (PPII) conformation. Here, we report the results of molecular dynamics simulations of the peptide in explicit solvent with two different force fields, namely, ff99SBildn and ff99IDPs, both of which showed a large propensity for PPII-like conformations in spite of showing differing features for other conformational characteristics. More remarkably, the conformations with predicted chemical shifts that agreed better with the NMR observations had a larger than average PPII content, especially for the ff99IDPs force field. An independent docking calculation of the molecule with the putative receptor SR160 also retained this conformational preference for PPII structure. The results suggest PPII to be an important class of conformation for systemin which may have a role in its bioactivity.