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Biochemistry. 2005 Dec 13;44(49):16246-56.

Orientation and oligomerization specificity of the Bcr coiled-coil oligomerization domain.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

The Bcr oligomerization domain, from the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein, is an attractive therapeutic target for treating leukemias because it is required for cellular transformation. The domain homodimerizes via an antiparallel coiled coil with an adjacent short, helical swap domain. Inspection of the coiled-coil sequence does not reveal obvious determinants of helix-orientation specificity, raising the possibility that the antiparallel orientation preference and/or the dimeric oligomerization state are due to interactions of the swap domains. To better understand how structural specificity is encoded in Bcr, coiled-coil constructs containing either an N- or C-terminal cysteine were synthesized without the swap domain. When cross-linked to adopt exclusively parallel or antiparallel orientations, these showed similar circular dichroism spectra. Both constructs formed coiled-coil dimers, but the antiparallel construct was approximately 16 degrees C more stable than the parallel to thermal denaturation. Equilibrium disulfide-exchange studies confirmed that the isolated coiled-coil homodimer shows a very strong preference for the antiparallel orientation. We conclude that the orientation and oligomerization preferences of Bcr are not caused by the presence of the swap domains, but rather are directly encoded in the coiled-coil sequence. We further explored possible determinants of structural specificity by mutating residues in the d position of the coiled-coil core. Some of the mutations caused a change in orientation specificity, and all of the mutations led to the formation of higher-order oligomers. In the absence of the swap domain, these residues play an important role in disfavoring alternate states and are especially important for encoding dimeric oligomerization specificity.

PMID:
16331985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2526250
Free PMC Article

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