Conformational Transition between Four and Five-stranded Phenylalanine Zippers Determined by a Local Packing Interaction.Liu, J., Zheng, Q., Deng, Y., Kallenbach, N.R., Lu, M.
(2006) J.Mol.Biol. 361: 168-179
- PubMed: 16828114
- DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2006.05.063
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:  2GUS
- PubMed Abstract:
Alpha-helical coiled coils play a crucial role in mediating specific protein-protein interactions. However, the rules and mechanisms that govern helix-helix association in coiled coils remain incompletely understood. Here we have engineered a seven h ...
Alpha-helical coiled coils play a crucial role in mediating specific protein-protein interactions. However, the rules and mechanisms that govern helix-helix association in coiled coils remain incompletely understood. Here we have engineered a seven heptad "Phe-zipper" protein (Phe-14) with phenylalanine residues at all 14 hydrophobic a and d positions, and generated a further variant (Phe-14(M)) in which a single core Phe residue is substituted with Met. Phe-14 forms a discrete alpha-helical pentamer in aqueous solution, while Phe-14(M) folds into a tetrameric helical structure. X-ray crystal structures reveal that in both the tetramer and the pentamer the a and d side-chains interlock in a classical knobs-into-holes packing to produce parallel coiled-coil structures enclosing large tubular cavities. However, the presence of the Met residue in the apolar interface of the tetramer markedly alters its local coiled-coil conformation and superhelical geometry. Thus, short-range interactions involving the Met side-chain serve to preferentially select for tetramer formation, either by inhibiting a nucleation step essential for pentamer folding or by abrogating an intermediate required to form the pentamer. Although specific trigger sequences have not been clearly identified in dimeric coiled coils, higher-order coiled coils, as well as other oligomeric multi-protein complexes, may require such sequences to nucleate and direct their assembly.
Department of Biochemistry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.