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Characterization and further stabilization of designed ankyrin repeat proteins by combining molecular dynamics simulations and experiments


Interlandi, G; Wetzel, S K; Settanni, G; Plückthun, A; Caflisch, A (2008). Characterization and further stabilization of designed ankyrin repeat proteins by combining molecular dynamics simulations and experiments. Journal of Molecular Biology, 375(3):837-854.

Abstract

Multiple molecular dynamics simulations with explicit solvent at room temperature and at 400 K were carried out to characterize designed ankyrin repeat (AR) proteins with full-consensus repeats. Using proteins with one to five repeats, the stability of the native structure was found to increase with the number of repeats. The C-terminal capping repeat, originating from the natural guanine-adenine-binding protein, was observed to denature first in almost all high-temperature simulations. Notably, a stable intermediate is found in experimental equilibrium unfolding studies of one of the simulated consensus proteins. On the basis of simulation results, this intermediate is interpreted to represent a conformation with a denatured C-terminal repeat. To validate this interpretation, constructs without C-terminal capping repeat were prepared and did not show this intermediate in equilibrium unfolding experiments. Conversely, the capping repeats were found to be essential for efficient folding in the cell and for avoiding aggregation, presumably because of their highly charged surface. To design a capping repeat conferring similar solubility properties yet even higher stability, eight point mutations adapting the C-cap to the consensus AR and adding a three-residue extension at the C-terminus were predicted in silico and validated experimentally. The in vitro full-consensus proteins were also compared with a previously published designed AR protein, E3_5, whose internal repeats show 80% identity in primary sequence. A detailed analysis of the simulations suggests that networks of salt bridges between beta-hairpins, as well as additional interrepeat hydrogen bonds, contribute to the extraordinary stability of the full consensus.

Multiple molecular dynamics simulations with explicit solvent at room temperature and at 400 K were carried out to characterize designed ankyrin repeat (AR) proteins with full-consensus repeats. Using proteins with one to five repeats, the stability of the native structure was found to increase with the number of repeats. The C-terminal capping repeat, originating from the natural guanine-adenine-binding protein, was observed to denature first in almost all high-temperature simulations. Notably, a stable intermediate is found in experimental equilibrium unfolding studies of one of the simulated consensus proteins. On the basis of simulation results, this intermediate is interpreted to represent a conformation with a denatured C-terminal repeat. To validate this interpretation, constructs without C-terminal capping repeat were prepared and did not show this intermediate in equilibrium unfolding experiments. Conversely, the capping repeats were found to be essential for efficient folding in the cell and for avoiding aggregation, presumably because of their highly charged surface. To design a capping repeat conferring similar solubility properties yet even higher stability, eight point mutations adapting the C-cap to the consensus AR and adding a three-residue extension at the C-terminus were predicted in silico and validated experimentally. The in vitro full-consensus proteins were also compared with a previously published designed AR protein, E3_5, whose internal repeats show 80% identity in primary sequence. A detailed analysis of the simulations suggests that networks of salt bridges between beta-hairpins, as well as additional interrepeat hydrogen bonds, contribute to the extraordinary stability of the full consensus.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:protein denaturation; protein engineering; network of salt bridges; folding pathways; ankyrin repeat proteins
Language:English
Date:8 January 2008
Deposited On:29 Oct 2008 15:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:31
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-2836
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2007.09.042
PubMed ID:18048057
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-4762

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