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Title: Folding Studies On Peanut Agglutinin : A Lectin With An Unusual Quaternary Structure
Authors: Dev, Sagarika
Advisors: Surolia, Avadhesha
Keywords: Lectin - Plants
Legume Lectin
Peanut Agglutinin - Folding
Peanut Agglutinin - Denaturation
Protein Folding
Peanut Agglutinin (PNA)
Submitted Date: Dec-2006
Series/Report no.: G20913
Abstract: The thesis entitled “Folding studies on Peanut Agglutinin: A lectin with an unusual quaternary structure” deals with the several aspects of the folding of the tetrameric legume lectin Peanut Agglutinin (PNA). PNA is a well studied legume lectin and several interesting observations regarding its unfolding have been published from our laboratory. The present thesis is an extension of the same work to enrich our knowledge about the folding behaviour of PNA. The thesis describes both experimental as well as theoretical insight on unfolding of PNA. Chapter 1 is a general discussion on lectins. Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins of non immune source. Lectins are generally found in all type of organisms- plants, animals as well as micro-organisms. Among the plant lectins “legume lectin” is a very well studied system. Legume lectins share a general tertiary structural fold; “jelly roll fold” while they vary in their quaternary structure. Thus they can be considered as “natural mutants” in the context of quaternary structure. The origin of the lectins, structure and sugar specificity have been discussed with emphasis on legume lectin family. Chapter 2 describes the thermodynamics related to the urea induced denaturation of PNA. PNA shows a very interesting unfolding profile, populating one molten globule like intermediate during thermal as well as chaotrope induced denaturation. The molten globule like intermediate loses most of its tertiary structure but retains sufficient secondary structure. Surprisingly, the molten globule like state retains its carbohydrate binding specificity like the native PNA. A model has been developed to fit the chaotrope induced three state denaturation profile of PNA. The model considers the tetramer to dissociate to monomeric intermediate, which in turn dissociates to complete denatured state. All the relevant thermodynamic parameters (∆G, ∆Cp, Tg) associated in the denaturation process have been extracted. The tetramer is found to be ~30 kcal/Mole more stable compared to the intermediate and the intermediate is ~8 kcal/Mole more stable compared to the denatured. The denaturation process has been followed by the changes in hydrodynamic radii by dynamic light scattering (DLS). The profile of change in hydrodynamic radius and the % intensity clearly identify the generation of two species simultaneously. The analysis shows that the intermediate is ~40 % unfolded in nature. Thus this chapter deals with the detailed study of thermodynamics and dynamic light scattering study of the urea induced denaturation of PNA. Chapter 3 deals with the effect of 2, 2, 2 - trifluoroethanol (TFE) on the structure of PNA at two different pH. TFE is a well known co-solvent and is widely used to induce α- helical structure in a protein. The secondary structures induced by TFE are assumed to reflect conformations that prevail during early stages of protein folding. Thus it was quite interesting to notice the structural changes induced by TFE. The effect of TFE has been studied at two different pH- neutral pH of 7.4 and acidic pH 2.5. The  structure of the protein is accentuated in the presence of TFE at low concentration at both the pH. TFE induces α-helical structure from 40 % (v/v) concentration onwards at both the pH. TFE at 15 % concentration induces a molten globule like structure at low pH. The quenching of acrylamide suggests that the protein at low pH and 15 % TFE concentration has a more compact structure compared to the protein at low pH in absence of TFE as well as 6M guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl). Further studies of hydrodynamic radii by dynamic light scattering (DLS) also reveal that the protein undergoes some kind of compaction in presence of 15 % TFE at low pH. The induction of this type of molten globule like state at neutral pH has not been observed. Chapter 4 describes the molecular dynamics simulation of deoligomerization of PNA. The native PNA (PDB code 2PEL), excluding any ligand and metal ions has been simulated at 300 K, 400 K, 500 K and 600 K for 500 ps. The overall destabilisation has been followed by root mean square deviation (RMSD), the radius of gyration (Rg) and the solvent accessible surface area (ASA), while the atomistic details are revealed by residue wise RMSD (RRMS), hydrogen bonds and cluster analysis. The protein shows a quite a dramatic change in RMSD and radius of gyration profile at 600 K. RRMS shows that the residues belonging to the loops, mainly in the metal binding site show quite high flexibility. The relative change in average accessible surface area reveals that the primary core of the protein is exposed at 600 K while it is well buried till 500 K. The hydrogen bond analysis clearly shows that with increase in temperature number of hydrogen bonds starts decreasing. Mainly the hydrogen bonds involving side chain interactions are broken. Surprisingly, not all the monomers behave similarly. Monomers C and D are more perturbed compared to monomers A and B. The asymmetry in the interfaces of the monomers may be the key reason for it. The change in the interfaces has been probed by hydrogen bond analysis and cluster analysis. The GSIV type interfaces (A-D and B-C) have been found out to be the most dynamic in nature compared to the other two interfaces. Thus, this chapter reveals the early stage of unfolding of PNA, where perturbation in secondary and tertiary structural level is quite prominent but the interfaces are still holding weakly and are not completely dissociated. Chapter 5 is the continuation of the molecular dynamics simulation on unfolding of PNA, where the effect of metal ions has been illustrated. The monomeric PNA has been simulated to compare its dynamics with the tetramer. The metal binding loop (125-135) becomes unstable and opens up for the monomer even at 300 K after 800 ps. The monomer at 600 K is completely disorganized. The instability of the metal binding loop of the monomer triggers the urge to study the simulation in presence of metal ions (Ca2+ and Mn2+). The monomer bound with metal ions shows steady fluctuation at 300 K. Binding of metal ions seems to bring stability even at 600 K. Surprisingly binding of metal ions to the metal binding site not only stabilises the metal binding loop but also stabilises residues at back beta sheet which are involved in oligomerization. Hence, another simulation of the tetramer at 600 K bound with metal ions has been done. It has been shown that binding of metal ions increases the stability of the protein without altering the denaturation pathway. Appendix A describes a completely different study from PNA. The initial spectral and kinetic characterization of 7, 8- Diaminopelargonic acid Synthase (DAPA Synthase) has been done from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The DAPA Synthase gene has been cloned earlier in our laboratory and the same has been used for further studies. This is a well known pyridoxal-5′ phosphate (PLP) dependent enzyme, which converts 8- Amino-7-oxopelargonic Acid (KAPA) to 7, 8-Diaminopelargonic Acid (DAPA) in the second step of biotin biosynthesis. DAPA Synthase uses S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and KAPA as substrate. The first half of the enzymatic reaction has been followed spectroscopically, both by steady state and stopped flow. The enzyme seems to undergo change in conformation as evident from fluorescence and circular dichroism study. The Km value has been determined using bioassay technique. The detailed characterization of the enzyme has been described in this chapter.
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/404
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biophysics Unit (mbu)

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