The fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) substrate 2 (FRS2) family proteins function as scaffolding adapters for receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The FRS2α proteins interact with RTKs through the phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain and transfer signals from the activated receptors to downstream effector proteins. Here, we report the nuclear magnetic resonance structure of the FRS2α PTB domain bound to phosphorylated TrkB. The structure reveals that the FRS2α-PTB domain is comprised of two distinct but adjacent pockets for its mutually exclusive interaction with either nonphosphorylated juxtamembrane region of the FGFR, or tyrosine phosphorylated peptides TrkA and TrkB. The new structural insights suggest rational design of selective small molecules through targeting of the two conjunct pockets in the FRS2α PTB domain. Proteins 2014; 82:1534–1541. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a Gram-negative soil-borne bacterium that causes Crown Gall disease in many economically important crops. The absence of a suitable chemical treatment means there is a need to discover new anti-Crown Gall agents and also characterize bona fide drug targets. One such target is dihydrodipicolinate synthase (DHDPS), a homo-tetrameric enzyme that catalyzes the committed step in the metabolic pathway yielding meso-diaminopimelate and lysine. Interestingly, there are 10 putative DHDPS genes annotated in the A. tumefaciens genome, including three whose structures have recently been determined (PDB IDs: 3B4U, 2HMC, and 2R8W). However, we show using quantitative enzyme kinetic assays that nine of the 10 dapA gene products, including 3B4U, 2HMC, and 2R8W, lack DHDPS function in vitro. A sequence alignment showed that the product of the dapA7 gene contains all of the conserved residues known to be important for DHDPS catalysis and allostery. This gene was cloned and the recombinant product expressed and purified. Our studies show that the purified enzyme (i) possesses DHDPS enzyme activity, (ii) is allosterically inhibited by lysine, and (iii) adopts the canonical homo-tetrameric structure in both solution and the crystal state. This study describes for the first time the structure, function and allostery of the bona fide DHDPS from A. tumefaciens, which offers insight into the rational design of pesticide agents for combating Crown Gall disease. Proteins 2014;. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Molecular simulations of β-lactoglobulin complexed with fatty acids reveal the structural basis of ligand affinity to internal and possible external binding sites
The interaction of saturated fatty acids of different length (C8:0 to C18:0) with β-lactoglobulin (βLG) was investigated by molecular dynamics simulation and docking approaches. The results shows that the presence of such ligands in the hydrophobic central cavity of βLG, known as the protein calyx, determines an enhancement of atomic fluctuations compared to the unliganded form, especially for loops at the entrance of the binding site. Concerted motions are evidenced for protein regions that could favor the binding of ligands. The mechanism of anchoring of fatty acids of different length is similar for the carboxylate head-group, through electrostatic interactions with the side chains of Lys60/Lys69. The key protein residues to secure the hydrocarbon chain are Phe105/Met107, which adapt their conformation upon ligand binding. In particular, Phe105 provides an additional hydrophobic clamp only for the tail of the two fatty acids with the longest chains, palmitic and stearic acid, which are known to bind βLG with a high affinity. The search of additional external binding sites for fatty acids, distinct from the calyx, was also carried out for palmitic acid. Two external sites with a lower affinity were identified as secondary sites, one consisting in a hydrophobic cavity allowing two distinct binding modes for the fatty acid, and the other corresponding to a surface crevice close to the protein α-helix. The overall results provide a comprehensive picture of the dynamical behaviour of βLG in complex with fatty acids, and elucidate the structural basis of the binding of these physiological ligands. © Proteins 2014;. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Increasing stability of antibody via antibody engineering: Stability engineering on an anti-hVEGF antibody
Antibody stability is very important for expression, activity, specificity and storage. The present knowledge of antibody structure has made it possible for a computer-aided molecule design to be used to optimize and increase antibody stability. Many computational methods have been built based on knowledge or structure, however, a good integrated engineering system has yet to be developed that combines these methods. In the current study, we designed an integrated computer-aided engineering protocol, which included several successful methods. Mutants were designed considering factors that affected stability and multiwall filter screening was used to improve the design accuracy. Using this protocol, the thermo-stability of an anti-hVEGF antibody was significantly improved. Nearly 40% of the single-point mutants proved to be more stable than the parent antibody and most of the mutations could be stacked effectively. The T50 also improved about 7°C by combinational mutation of 7 sites in the light chain and 3 sites in the heavy chain. Data indicate that the protocol is an effective method for optimization of antibody structure, especially for improving thermo-stability. This protocol could also be used to enhance the stability of other antibodies. © Proteins 2014;. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.