Molecular engineering of conotoxins: the importance of loop size to α-conotoxin structure and function

Jin, Ai-Hua, Daly, Norelle L., Nevin, Simon T., Wang, Ching-I A., Dutertre, Sebastien, Lewis, Richard J., Adams, David J., Craik, David J., and Alewood, Paul F. (2008) Molecular engineering of conotoxins: the importance of loop size to α-conotoxin structure and function. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 51 (18). pp. 5575-5584.

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Abstract

α-Conotoxins are competitive antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The majority of currently characterized α-conotoxins have a 4/7 loop size, and the major features of neuronal α-conotoxins include a globular disulfide connectivity and a helical structure centered around the third of their four cysteine residues. In this study, a novel "molecular pruning" approach was undertaken to define the relationship between loop size, structure, and function of α-conotoxins. This involved the systematic truncation of the second loop in the α-conotoxin [A10L]PnIA [4/7], a potent antagonist of the α7 nAChR. The penalty for truncation was found to be decreased conformational stability and increased susceptibility to disulfide bond scrambling. Truncation down to 4/4[A10L]PnIA maintained helicity and did not significantly reduce electrophysiological activity at α7 nAChRs, whereas 4/3[A10L]PnIA lost both α7 nAChR activity and helicity. In contrast, all truncated analogues lost 100-fold affinity at the AChBP, a model protein for the extracellular domain of the nAChR. Docking simulations identified several hydrogen bonds lost upon truncation that provide an explanation for the reduced affinities observed at the α7 nAChR and AChBP.

Item ID: 27087
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1520-4804
Date Deposited: 22 May 2013 02:02
FoR Codes: 03 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 0304 Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry > 030406 Proteins and Peptides @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences @ 100%
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