The solution structure of the C-terminal fragment 255-316 of thermolysin has been determined by two-dimensional proton NMR methods. For this disulfide-free fragment there was a previous proposal according to which it would fold into a stable helical structure forming a dimer at concentrations above 0.06 mM. A complete assignment of the proton NMR resonances of the backbone and amino acid side chains of the fragment was first performed using standard sequential assignment methods. On the basis of 729 distance constraints derived from unambiguously assigned nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) proton connectivities, the three-dimensional structure of a monomeric unit was then determined by using distance geometry and restrained molecular dynamic methods. The globular structure of fragment 255-316 of thermolysin in solution, composed of three helices, is largely coincident with that of the corresponding region in the crystallographic structure of intact thermolysin [Holmes, M. A., & Matthews, B. W. (1982) J. Mol. Biol. 160, 623-639]. This fact allowed identification as intersubunit of up to 52 NOE cross correlations, which were used to dock the two subunits into a symmetric dimer structure. The obtained dimeric structure served as the starting structure in a final restrained molecular dynamic calculation subjected to a total of 1562 distance constraints. In the resulting dimeric structure, the interface between the two subunits, of a marked hydrophobic character, coincides topologically with the one between the 255-316 fragment and the rest of the protein in the intact enzyme. The present work decisively shows that the thermolysin fragment 255-316 can attain a stable and nativelike structure independently of the rest of the polypeptide chain. Considering that the thermolysin molecule is constituted of two structural domains of equal size (residues 1-157 and 158-316), the results of this study show that autonomously folding units can be substantially smaller than entire domains.
NMR solution structure of the C-terminal fragment 255-316 of thermolysin: a dimer formed by subunits having the native structure.,Rico M, Jimenez MA, Gonzalez C, De Filippis V, Fontana A Biochemistry. 1994 Dec 13;33(49):14834-47. PMID:7993910
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
↑ Rico M, Jimenez MA, Gonzalez C, De Filippis V, Fontana A. NMR solution structure of the C-terminal fragment 255-316 of thermolysin: a dimer formed by subunits having the native structure. Biochemistry. 1994 Dec 13;33(49):14834-47. PMID:7993910