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Protein Sci. 1994 Nov;3(11):1961-74.

Quantification of the calcium-induced secondary structural changes in the regulatory domain of troponin-C.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


The backbone resonance assignments have been completed for the apo (1H and 15N) and calcium-loaded (1H, 15N, and 13C) regulatory N-domain of chicken skeletal troponin-C (1-90), using multidimensional homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy. The chemical-shift information, along with detailed NOE analysis and 3JHNH alpha coupling constants, permitted the determination and quantification of the Ca(2+)-induced secondary structural change in the N-domain of TnC. For both structures, 5 helices and 2 short beta-strands were found, as was observed in the apo N-domain of the crystal structure of whole TnC (Herzberg O, James MNG, 1988, J Mol Biol 203:761-779). The NMR solution structure of the apo form is indistinguishable from the crystal structure, whereas some structural differences are evident when comparing the 2Ca2+ state solution structure with the apo one. The major conformational change observed is the straightening of helix-B upon Ca2+ binding. The possible importance and role of this conformational change is explored. Previous CD studies on the regulatory domain of TnC showed a significant Ca(2+)-induced increase in negative ellipticity, suggesting a significant increase in helical content upon Ca2+ binding. The present study shows that there is virtually no change in alpha-helical content associated with the transition from apo to the 2Ca2+ state of the N-domain of TnC. Therefore, the Ca(2+)-induced increase in ellipticity observed by CD does not relate to a change in helical content, but more likely to changes in spatial orientation of helices.

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