Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The solution structure of a peptide fragment corresponding to the 38-59 region of porcine phospholipase A2 has been investigated using CD, nmr chemical shifts, and nuclear over-hauser effects (NOEs). This isolated fragment of phospholipase forms an α-helix spanning residues 38-55, very similar to the one found in the native protein, except for residues 56-58, which were helical in the crystal but found random in solution. Addition of triflouro-ethanol (TFE) merely increased helix population but it did not redefine helix limits. To investigate how the folding information, in particular that concerning eventual helix start and stop signals, was coded in this particular amino acid sequence, the helices formed by synthetic peptides reproducing sections of this phospholipase 38-59 fragment, namely 40-59, 42-59, 38-50, and 45-57, were characterized using NOEs and helix populations quantitatively evaluated on different peptide chain segments using nmr chemical shifts in two solvents (H2O and 30% TFE/H2O). A set of nmr spectra was also recorded and assigned under denaturing conditions (6Murea) to obtain reliable values for the chemical shifts of each peptide in the random state. Based on chemical shift data, it was concluded that the helix formed by the phospholipase 38-59 fragment was not abruptly, but progressively, destabilized all along its length by successive elimination of residues at the N end, while the removal of residues at the C end affected helix stability more locally and to a lesser extent. These results are consistent with the idea that there are not single residues responsible for helix initiation or helix stability, and they also evidence an asymmetry for contributions to helix stability by residues located at the two chain ends. The restriction of molecular mobility caused by linking with a disulphide bridge at Cys 51 two identical 38-59 peptide chains did not increase helix stability. The helix formed by the covalently formed homodimer was very similar in length and population to that formed by the monomer. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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