Indexed on: 06 Oct '00Published on: 06 Oct '00Published in: Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics
Solution structures of a 23 residue glycopeptide II (KIS* RFLLYMKNLLNRIIDDMVEQ, where * denotes the glycan Gal-beta-(1-3)-alpha-GalNAc) and its deglycosylated counterpart I derived from the C-terminal leucine zipper domain of low molecular weight human salivary mucin (MUC7) were studied using CD, NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling. The peptide I was synthesized using the Fmoc chemistry following the conventional procedure and the glycopeptide II was synthesized incorporating the O-glycosylated building block (Nalpha-Fmoc-Ser-[Ac4-beta-D-Gal-(1,3)-Ac2-alpha-D-GalN3+ ++]-OPfp) at the appropriate position in stepwise assembly of peptide chain. Solution structures of these glycosylated and nonglycosylated peptides were studied in water and in the presence of 50% of an organic cosolvent, trifluoroethanol (TFE) using circular dichroism (CD), and in 50% TFE using two-dimensional proton nuclear magnetic resonance (2D 1H NMR) spectroscopy. CD spectra in aqueous medium indicate that the apopeptide I adapts, mostly, a beta-sheet conformation whereas the glycopeptide II assumes helical structure. This transition in the secondary structure, upon glycosylation, demonstrates that the carbohydrate moiety exerts significant effect on the peptide backbone conformation. However, in 50% TFE both the peptides show pronounced helical structure. Sequential and medium range NOEs, CalphaH chemical shift perturbations, 3JNH:CalphaH couplings and deuterium exchange rates of the amide proton resonances in water containing 50% TFE indicate that the peptide I adapts alpha-helical structure from Ile2-Val21 and the glycopeptide II adapts alpha-helical structure from Ser3-Glu22. The observation of continuous stretch of helix in both the peptides as observed by both NMR and CD spectroscopy strongly suggests that the C-terminal domain of MUC7 with heptad repeats of leucines or methionine residues may be stabilized by dimeric leucine zipper motif. The results reported herein may be invaluable in understanding the aggregation (or dimerization) of MUC7 glycoprotein which would eventually have implications in determining its structure-function relationship.