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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1985 Sep 16;131(2):780-5.

Possible mechanism of the allosteric activation of cAMP receptor protein.


Secondary structure of cAMP receptor protein of E. coli was predicted and compared to its crystal structure in the complex with cAMP solved by McKay and Steitz. The two conformations coincide in the DNA binding domain but strikingly differ in the other domain which binds cAMP and causes protein dimerization. The comparison indicates that cAMP destabilizes a very long helix instead of which sheets are formed creating a hydrophobic pocket where cAMP binds. Consequently, the helix-sheets isomerization and a resulting change in the relative monomer disposition in the dimer appears to be the origin of cAMP-induced allosteric activation of the protein. Extremely long helices were also predicted in the regions of the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase from bovine cardiac muscle where cAMP binds. It is thus likely that the proposed mechanism of the effect of cAMP on protein structure has wider implications.

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