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Biochemistry. 1994 Mar 29;33(12):3515-31.

Solution structure and dynamics of ras p21.GDP determined by heteronuclear three- and four-dimensional NMR spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, U.K.


A high-resolution solution structure of the GDP form of a truncated version of the ras p21 protein (residues 1-166) has been determined using NMR spectroscopy. Ras p21 is the product of the human ras protooncogene and a member of a ubiquitous eukaryotic gene family which is highly conserved in evolution. A virtually complete assignment (13C, 15N, and 1H), including stereospecific assignments of 54 C beta methylene protons and 10 C gamma methyl protons of valine residues, was obtained by analysis of three- and four-dimensional (3D and 4D) heteronuclear NMR spectra using a newly developed 3D/4D version of the ANSIG software. A total of 40 converged structures were computed from 3369 experimental restraints consisting of 3,167 nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) derived distances, 14 phi and 54 chi 1 torsion angle restraints, 109 hydrogen bond distance restraints, and an additional 25 restraints derived from literature data defining interactions between the GDP ligand, the magnesium ion, and the protein. The structure in the region of residues 58-66 (loop L4), and to a lesser degree residues 30-38 (loop L2), is ill-defined. Analysis of the dynamics of the backbone 15N nuclei in the protein showed that residues within the regions 58-66, 107-109, and, to a lesser degree, 30-38 are dynamically mobile on the nanosecond time scale. The root mean square (rms) deviations between the 40 solution structures and the mean atomic coordinates are 0.78 A for the backbone heavy atoms and 1.29 A for all non-hydrogen atoms if all residues (1-166) are included in the analysis. If residues 30-38 and residues 58-66 are excluded from the analysis, the rms deviations are reduced to 0.55 and 1.00 A, respectively. The structure was compared to the most highly refined X-ray crystal structure of ras p21.GDP (1-189) [Milburn, M. V., Tong, L., de Vos, A. M., BrĂ¼nger, A. T., Yamaizumi, Z., Nishimura, S., & Kim, S.-H. (1990) Science 24, 939-945]. The structures are very similar except in the regions found to be mobile by NMR spectroscopy. In addition, the second alpha-helix (helix-2) has a slightly different orientation. The rms deviation between the average of the solution structures and the X-ray crystal structure is 0.94 A for the backbone heavy atoms if residues 31-37 and residues 59-73 are excluded from the analysis.

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