Metal-controlled Interdomain Cooperativity in Parvalbumins

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Thermodynamics, Cooperativity, Thermodynamic Domain, Structural Domain, Ef-hand, Protein Unfolding, Protein Denaturation, Intermediate, Metal Binding, Protein Cavities, Protein Intrinsic Disorder, Hyperthermophile, Allergen

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Conformational behavior of five homologous proteins, parvalbumins (PAs) from northern pike (α and β isoforms), Baltic cod, and rat (α and β isoforms), was studied by scanning calorimetry, circular dichroism, and bis-ANS fluorescence. The mechanism of the temperature-induced denaturation of these proteins depends dramatically on both the peculiarities of their amino acid sequences and on their interaction with metal ions. For example, the pike α-PA melting can be described by two successive two-state transitions with mid-temperatures of 90 and 120 °C, suggesting the presence of two thermodynamic domains. The intermediate state populated at the end of the first transition was shown to bind Ca2+ ions, and was characterized by the largely preserved secondary structure and increased solvent exposure of hydrophobic groups. Mg2+- and Na+-loaded forms of pike α-PA demonstrated a single two-state transition. Therefore, the mechanism of the PA thermal denaturation is controlled by metal binding. It ranged from the absence of detectable first-order transition (apo-form of pike PA), to the two-state transition (e.g., Mg2+- and Na+-loaded forms of pike α-PA), to the more complex mechanisms (Ca2+-loaded PAs) involving at least one partially folded intermediate. Analysis of isolated cavities in the protein structures revealed that the interface between the CD and EF subdomains of Ca2+-loaded pike α-PA is much more loosely packed compared with PAs manifesting single heat-sorption peak. The impairment of interactions between CD and EF subdomains may cause a loss of structural cooperativity and appearance of two separate thermodynamic domains. One more peculiar feature of pike α-PA is that depending on its interactions with metal ions, it can be an intrinsically disordered protein (apo-form), an ordered protein of mesophilic (Na+-bound state), thermophilic (Mg2+-form), or even of the hyperthermophilic origin (Ca2+-form).

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Cell Calcium, v. 46, issue 3, p. 163-175