circular dichroism spectroscopy
protein structure modeling
Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The structure of human interleukin 4 (IL-4) was predicted utilizing a series of experimental and theoretical techniques. Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy indicated that IL-4 belonged to the all α-helix class of protein structures. Secondary structure prediction, site-directed mutagenesis, and CD spectroscopy suggested a predominantly α-helical structure, consistent with a four-helix bundle structural motif. A human/mouse IL-4 chimera was constructed to qualitatively evaluate alternative secondary structure predictions. The four predicted helices were assembled into tertiary structures using established algorithms. The mapping of three disulfide bridges in IL-4 provided additional constraints on possible tertiary structures. Using accessible surface contact area as a criterion, the most suitable structures were right handed all antiparallel four-helix bundles with two overhand loop connections. Successful loop closure and incorporation of the three disulfide constraints were possible while maintaining the expected shape, solvent accessibility, and steric interactions between loops and helices. Lastly, energy minimization was used to regularize the chain.
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