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Biochemistry. 1989 Oct 3;28(20):7996-8002.

Sequential 1H NMR assignment and secondary structure determination of salmon calcitonin in solution.

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  • 1Istituto per la Chimica di Molecole di Interesse Biologico del CNR, Arco Felice, Napoli, Italy.


Salmon calcitonin (sCT) has been investigated by NMR at 500 MHz in a 90% DMSOd6-10% 1H2O (v/v) mixture at 278 K. All backbone and side-chain resonances of the hormone have been assigned by using high-resolution phase-sensitive two-dimensional techniques. Analysis of the type and magnitude of the observed sequential nuclear Overhauser effects, the NH-alpha CH spin-spin coupling constants, and the 1H/2H exchange kinetics measured in 80% DMSOd6-20% 2H2O (v/v) at 278 K enabled prediction of the secondary structure. Overall, an extended conformation is the dominant feature of the solution, but there are clear indications for a short double-stranded antiparallel beta sheet in the central region comprising residues 12-18, connected by a three-residue hairpin loop formed by residues 14-16. Two tight turns, made by residues 6-9 and 25-28, were also identified, but no evidence was found for the presence of a regular helical segment. The beta sheet favors an amphipathic distribution of the residues, orienting the predominantly hydrophilic Ser13, Glu15, and His17 side chains above the plane of the sheet, and the predominantly hydrophobic Leu12, Gln14, and Leu16 below it. This is interpreted as the "seed" of the amphipathic alpha helix postulated to be responsible for the interaction of sCT with lipids, a situation reminiscent of the folding mechanism of signal peptides in the interaction with membranes. The possible significance of the cis-trans Pro23 isomerism is discussed.

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