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Reorganization in apo- and holo-beta-lactoglobulin upon protonation of Glu89: molecular dynamics and pKa calculations.

Research paper by Ivano I Eberini, António M AM Baptista, Elisabetta E Gianazza, Franca F Fraternali, Tiziana T Beringhelli

Indexed on: 05 Mar '04Published on: 05 Mar '04Published in: Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics



Abstract

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations starting from crystallographic data allowed us to directly account for the effects of the protonation state of Glu89 on the conformational stability of apo- and holo-beta-lactoglobulin (BLG). In apo-BLG simulations starting from the protonated crystal structure, we observe a long-lived H-bond interaction between the protonated Glu89 and Ser116. This interaction, sequestering the proton from the aqueous medium, explains a pK(half) value evaluated at pH 7.3 by continuum electrostatics/Monte Carlo computation on MD data, using linear response approximation. A very large root-mean-square deviation (RMSD; 5.11 A) is observed for the EF loop between protonated and unprotonated apo-BLG. This results from a quite different orientation of the EF loop that acts either as a closed or as an open lid above the protein calyx. Proton exchange by Glu89 in apo- but not in holo-BLG is associated with a reorganization energy of 4.7 kcal/mol. A 3-ns MD simulation starting from the crystal structure of protonated apo-BLG, but considering the Glu89 as unprotonated, shows the progressive opening of the lid giving rise to the Tanford transition. In both holo-BLG forms, the lid is most probably held in place by hydrophobic interactions of amino acid side-chains of the EF loop with the palmitate hydrocarbon tail.