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A method for the reversible trapping of proteins in non-native conformations.

Authors
  • Milanesi, Lilia
  • Jelinska, Clare
  • Hunter, Christopher A
  • Hounslow, Andrea M
  • Staniforth, Rosemary A
  • Waltho, Jonathan P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biochemistry
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Dec 23, 2008
Volume
47
Issue
51
Pages
13620–13634
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/bi801362f
PMID: 19035655
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

High-dilution equilibrium macrocyclization is developed as a general approach to trapping proteins in a non-native state with a synthetic cross-linking agent. The approach is illustrated using the N-terminal domain of phosphoglycerate kinase and a synthetic reagent containing two maleimide groups, for selective attachment to cysteines introduced onto the protein surface through mutagenesis, and an aromatic disulfide that can be chemically or photochemically cleaved. Following functionalization of the cysteine residues, thiol-disulfide exchange chemistry under strongly unfolding conditions was used to achieve intramolecular cyclization and a high yield of the cross-linked protein. (1)H NMR, CD, and fluorescence spectroscopies indicate that the conformation of the cross-linked protein is non-native. Chemical cleavage of the aromatic disulfide cross-link by a reducing agent results in the acquisition of a nativelike conformation for the reduced protein. Thus, the cross-link acts as a reversible switch of protein folding.

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