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  An unusual hydrophobic core confers extreme flexibility to HEAT repeat proteins.

Kappel, C., Zachariae, U., Dölker, N., & Grubmüller, H. (2010). An unusual hydrophobic core confers extreme flexibility to HEAT repeat proteins. Biophysical Journal, 99(5), 1596-1603. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2010.06.032.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-C080-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-CF32-B
Genre: Journal Article

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Kappel, C.1, Author              
Zachariae, U., Author
Dölker, N., Author
Grubmüller, H.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_578631              

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 Abstract: Alpha-solenoid proteins are suggested to constitute highly flexible macromolecules, whose structural variability and large surface area is instrumental in many important protein-protein binding processes. By equilibrium and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations, we show that importin-β, an archetypical α-solenoid, displays unprecedentedly large and fully reversible elasticity. Our stretching molecular dynamics simulations reveal full elasticity over up to twofold end-to-end extensions compared to its bound state. Despite the absence of any long-range intramolecular contacts, the protein can return to its equilibrium structure to within 3 Å backbone RMSD after the release of mechanical stress. We find that this extreme degree of flexibility is based on an unusually flexible hydrophobic core that differs substantially from that of structurally similar but more rigid globular proteins. In that respect, the core of importin-β resembles molten globules. The elastic behavior is dominated by nonpolar interactions between HEAT repeats, combined with conformational entropic effects. Our results suggest that α-solenoid structures such as importin-β may bridge the molecular gap between completely structured and intrinsically disordered proteins.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2010-09-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.06.032
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Title: Biophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 99 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1596 - 1603 Identifier: -