The Nearest-Neighbor Effect on Random-Coil NMR Chemical Shifts Demonstrated Using a Low-Complexity Amino-Acid Sequence

Author(s): Tsai-Chen Chen, Chih-Lun Hsiao, Shing-Jong Huang, Jie-rong Huang

Journal Name: Protein & Peptide Letters

Volume 23 , Issue 11 , 2016

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Graphical Abstract:


In NMR experiments, the chemical shift is typically the first parameter measured and is a source of structural information for biomolecules. Indeed, secondary chemical shifts, the difference between the measured chemical shifts and those expected for a randomly oriented sequence of peptides (the "random coil"), are correlated with the secondary structure of proteins; secondary shift analysis is thereby a standard approach in structural biology. For intrinsically disordered or denatured proteins furthermore, secondary chemical shifts reveal the propensity of particular segments to form different secondary structures. However, because the atoms in unfolded proteins all have very similar chemical environments, the chemical shifts measured for a certain atom type vary less than in globular proteins. Since chemical shifts can be measured precisely, the secondary chemical shifts calculated for an unfolded system depend mainly on the particular random coil chemical shift database chosen as a point of reference. Certain databases correct the random coil shift for a given residue based on its neighbors in the amino acid sequence. However, these corrections are typically derived from the analysis of model peptides; there have been relatively few direct and systematic studies of the effect of neighboring residues for specific amino acid sequences in disordered proteins. For the study reported here, we used the intrinsically disordered C-terminal domain of TDP-43, which has a highly repetitive amino-acid sequence, as a model system. We assigned the chemical shifts of this protein at low pH in urea. Our results demonstrate that the identity of the nearest neighbors is decisive in determining the value of the chemical shift for atoms in a random coil arrangement. Based on these observations, we also outline a possible approach to construct a random-coil library of chemical shifts that comprises all possible arrangement of tripeptides from a manageable number of polypeptides.

Keywords: Intrinsically disordered proteins, secondary chemical shift, random coil chemical shift, TDP-43.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Published on: 20 October, 2016
Page: [967 - 975]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/0929866523666160920100045
Price: $65

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