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J Biol Chem. 1993 Feb 5;268(4):2416-24.

The x-ray crystal structure refinements of normal human transthyretin and the amyloidogenic Val-30-->Met variant to 1.7-A resolution.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202-5122.


The x-ray crystal structures of normal human transthyretin (prealbumin) and the amyloidogenic Val-30-Met variant have been refined at 1.7-A resolution to R-values of 0.168 and 0.179, respectively, for 19,882 and 20,362 reflections (Fobs > 2.0 sigma). Standard deviations for stereochemical parameters are 0.018 and 0.022 A for bond distances, 0.030 and 0.038 A for angle distances, and 0.035 and 0.070 A for planar 1-4 distances. The newly refined normal structure shows improvement over the original structure of Blake and Swan (Blake, C. C. F., and Swan, I. D. A. (1971) J. Mol. Biol. 61, 217-224) in stereochemistry and in the conformation of the loop regions. Residues Arg-103, Thr-123, Asn-124, and Pro-125 have now been resolved, and residues 1-9 and 126-127 have been modeled with the aid of simulated annealing refinement. The functional form of transthyretin is a tetramer, having a cylindrical cavity which will bind thyroxine and an exterior binding site for the complex of retinol with retinol-binding protein. The monomer is a beta barrel flattened to become more like a sandwich with residue 30 in the interior. The methionyl for valyl substitution forces the beta sheets of the monomer as much as 1 A apart, resulting in a distortion of the thyroxine-binding cavity, in agreement with the independent observations that the Met-30 variant has low affinity for thyroxine.

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