Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Protein Eng. 1997 Oct;10(10):1101-7.

Crystal structure of TNF-alpha mutant R31D with greater affinity for receptor R1 compared with R2.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Crystal structures have been determined of recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and its R31D mutant that preferentially binds to TNF receptor R1 with more than seven times the relative affinity of binding to receptor R2. Crystals of the wild-type TNF were of space group P4(1)2(1)2 and had unit cell dimensions of a = b = 94.7 and c = 117.4 A. Refinement of the structure gave an R-factor of 22.3% at 2.5 A resolution. The crystals of TNF R31D mutant diffracted to 2.3 A resolution, and were of identical space group to the wild type with unit cell dimensions of a = b = 95.4 and c = 116.2 A, and the structure was refined to an R-factor of 21.8%. The trimer structures of the wild-type and mutant TNF were similar with a root mean square (r.m.s.) deviation of 0.56 A for Calpha atoms; however, the subunits within each trimer were more variable with an average r.m.s. deviation of 1.00 A on Calpha atoms for pairwise comparison of subunits. Model complexes of TNF with receptors R1 and R2 have been used to predict TNF-receptor interactions. Arg31 in all three subunits of wild-type TNF is predicted to form an ionic interaction with the equivalent glutamic acid in both receptors R1 and R2. Asp31 of the TNF R31D mutant is predicted to interact differently with the two receptors. The side chain of Asp31 in two subunits of the TNF mutant is predicted to form hydrogen bond interactions with Ser59 or Cys70 of R1, while it has no predicted interactions with R2. The loss of three strong ionic interactions of Arg31 and the electrostatic repulsion of Asp31 with Glu in the receptors is consistent with the reduced binding of the R31D mutant to both receptors relative to wild-type TNF. The replacement of these ionic interactions by two weaker hydrogen bond interactions between Asp31 of the R31D mutant and R1, compared with no interactions with R2, is in agreement with the observed preferential binding of the R31D mutant to R1 over R2. Analysis of the structure and function of receptor-discriminating mutants of TNF will help understand the biological role of TNF and facilitate its use as an antitumor agent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk