Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

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The nature of transient protein complexes can range from a highly dynamic ensemble of orientations to a single well-defined state. This represents variation in the equilibrium between the encounter and final, functional state. The transient complex between plastocyanin (Pc) and cytochrome f (cyt of the cyanobacterium Prochlorothrix hollandica was characterized by NMR spectroscopy. Intermolecular pseudocontact shifts and chemical shift perturbations were used as restraints in docking calculations to determine the structure of the wild-type Pc-cytf complex. The orientation of Pc is similar to orientations found in Pc-cytf complexes from other sources. Electrostatics seems to play a modest role in complex formation. A large variability in the ensemble of lowest energy structures indicates a dynamic nature of the complex. Two unusual hydrophobic patch residues in Pc have been mutated to the residues found in other plastocyanins (Y12G/P14L). The binding constants are similar for the complexes of cytf with wild-type PC and mutant PC, but the chemical shift perturbations are smaller for the complex with mutant PC. Docking calculations for the Y12G/P14L Pc-cytf complex did not produce a converged ensemble of structures. Simulations of the dynamics were performed using the observed averaged NMR parameters as input. The results indicate a surprisingly large amplitude of mobility of Y12G/P14L Pc within the complex. It is concluded that the double mutation shifts the complex further from the well-defined toward the encounter state.

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Journal Of The American Chemical Society


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