The d '-d-d ' Vertical Triad Is Less Discriminating Than the a '-a-a ' Vertical Triad in the Antiparallel Coiled-Coil Dimer Motif

Jay D. Steinkruger, Gail J. Bartlett, Erik B. Hadley, Lindsay Fay, Derek N. Woolfson*, Samuel H. Gellman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Elucidating relationships between the amino-acid sequences of proteins and their three-dimensional structures, and uncovering non-covalent interactions that underlie polypeptide folding, are major goals in protein science. One approach toward these goals is to study interactions between selected residues, or among constellations of residues, in small folding motifs. The alpha-helical coiled coil has served as a platform for such studies because this folding unit is relatively simple in terms of both sequence and structure. Amino acid side chains at the helix helix interface of a coiled coil participate in so-called "knobs-into-holes" (KIH) packing whereby a side chain (the knob) on one helix inserts into a space (the hole) generated by four side chains on a partner helix. The vast majority of sequence stability studies on coiled-coil dimers have focused on lateral interactions within these KIH arrangements, for example, between an a position on one helix and an a' position of the partner in a parallel coiled-coil dimer, or between a-d' pairs in an antiparallel dimer. More recently, it has been shown that vertical triads (specifically, a'-a-a' triads) in antiparallel dimers exert a significant impact on pairing preferences. This observation provides impetus for analysis of other complex networks of side-chain interactions at the helix helix interface. Here, we describe a combination of experimental and bioinformatics studies that show that d'-d-d' triads have much less impact on pairing preference than do a'-a-a' triads in a small, designed antiparallel coiled-coil dimer. However, the influence of the d'-d-d' triad depends on the lateral a'-d interaction. Taken together, these results strengthen the emerging understanding that simple pairwise interactions are not sufficient to describe side-chain interactions and overall stability in antiparallel coiled-coil dimers; higher-order interactions must be considered as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2626-2633
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume134
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2012

Structured keywords

  • Bristol BioDesign Institute

Keywords

  • BACKBONE THIOESTER EXCHANGE
  • GCN4 LEUCINE-ZIPPER
  • AMINO-ACID
  • DIMERIZATION SPECIFICITY
  • STRUCTURAL SPECIFICITY
  • OLIGOMERIZATION STATE
  • SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
  • STABILITY
  • PROTEIN
  • DESIGN

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