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IUBMB Life. 2000 Aug;50(2):105-13.

A CD2-based model of yeast alpha-agglutinin elucidates solution properties and binding characteristics.

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Department of Biological Sciences and The Institute for Biomolecular Structure and Function, Hunter College of the City University of New York, NY 10021, USA.


We have previously shown that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell adhesion protein alpha-agglutinin has sequence characteristics of immunoglobulin-like proteins and have successfully modeled residues 200-325, based on the structure of immunoglobulin variable-type domains. Alignments matching residues 20-200 of alpha-agglutinin with domains I and II of members of the CD2/CD4 subfamily of the immunoglobulin superfamily showed > 80% conservation of key residues despite low sequence similarity overall. Three-dimensional models of two alpha-agglutinin domains constructed on the basis of these alignments were shown to conform to peptide mapping data and biophysical properties of alpha-agglutinin. In addition, the residue volume and surface accessibility characteristics of these models resembled those of the well-packed structures of related proteins. Residue-by-residue analysis showed that packing and accessibility anomalies were largely confined to glycosylated and protease-susceptible loop regions of the domains. Surface accessibility of hydrophobic residues was typical of proteins with extensive domain interactions, a finding compatible with the hydrodynamic properties of alpha -agglutinin and the hydrophobic nature of binding to its peptide ligand alpha-agglutinin. The procedures used to align the alpha-agglutinin sequence and test the quality of the model may be applicable to other proteins, especially those that resist crystallization because of extensive glycosylation.

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