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J Biol Chem. 1988 Mar 25;263(9):4263-8.

Horse heart metmyoglobin. A 2.8-A resolution three-dimensional structure determination.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The structure of horse heart metmyoglobin has been determined with a molecular replacement approach and subsequently refined using rigid body and restrained-parameter least squares methods to a conventional crystallographic R-factor of 0.16 for all observed reflections in the 6.0-2.8-A resolution range. The polypeptide chain of this protein is found to be organized into eight helical regions (labeled A-H) which collectively form a hydrophobic pocket in which the heme prosthetic group is bound. Our results show that the overall thermal motions of individual residues of horse heart metmyoglobin are correlated with their mean distances from the heme group. In comparisons with the structure of sperm whale metmyoglobin it has been found that horse heart metmyoglobin has unique polypeptide chain conformations in four regions. These include residues in the immediate vicinity of the amino and carboxyl termini, residues about Lys-16, and residues 117-124 which are in the interhelical region between helices G and H. Many of these conformational changes appear to occur as a consequence of a different pattern of salt-bridging interactions between charged residues on the surface of horse heart metmyoglobin. The overall average positional deviation observed between corresponding alpha-carbons in the polypeptide chains of horse heart and sperm whale metmyoglobin is 0.50 A. This value for atoms of the porphyrin core of the central heme group is 0.39 A. A total of 12 well defined water molecules and 1 sulfate ion are included in the current structural model of horse heart metmyoglobin. One of these water molecules is found to be coordinated to the heme iron atom and hydrogen bonded to the side chain of His-64. The sulfate ion is hydrogen bonded to amide groups at the amino-terminal end of the E-helix and, as well, forms similar interactions with the amino-terminal end of the D-helix of an adjacent protein molecule in the crystalline lattice.

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