Crystallography Journals Online : IUCR Backfile Archive 1948-2001
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The crystal structures of cadmium/cadmium and zinc/calcium concanavalin A (con A) at pH 5.0 and pH 6.15, respectively, were determined. The structure of cadmium/cadmium con A confirms that the secondary Cd2+-binding site S3 is empty at pH 5. The metal-binding sites S1 and S2 are only very slightly affected by the substitution with cadmium. On the other hand, S1 and S2 and most of the protein surface of zinc/calcium con A at pH 6.15 differ from other fully metal-bound and carbohydrate-free structures. Most of these structural differences at the protein surface are a result of the interplay between metal binding, protonation and crystal packing. This interplay is expressed by relative rotations and translations of the con A units in alternative crystal packings and participation in space-group conversions inside crystals in situ. The particular crystal packing of zinc/calcium con A creates a novel zinc-binding site S4. The Zn2+ ion in S4 ligates two aspartates from one tetramer and a histidine from a symmetry-related tetramer.
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