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Biochemistry. 2001 Mar 6;40(9):2790-6.

Stabilization of coiled-coil peptide domains by introduction of trifluoroleucine.

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1
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Abstract

Substitution of leucine residues by 5,5,5-trifluoroleucine at the d-positions of the leucine zipper peptide GCN4-p1d increases the thermal stability of the coiled-coil structure. The midpoint thermal unfolding temperature of the fluorinated peptide is elevated by 13 degrees C at 30 microM peptide concentration. The modified peptide is more resistant to chaotropic denaturants, and the free energy of folding of the fluorinated peptide is 0.5-1.2 kcal/mol larger than that of the hydrogenated form. A similarly fluorinated form of the DNA-binding peptide GCN4-bZip binds to target DNA sequences with affinity and specificity identical to those of the hydrogenated form, while demonstrating enhanced thermal stability. Molecular dynamics simulation on the fluorinated GCN4-p1d peptide using the Surface Generalized Born implicit solvation model revealed that the coiled-coil binding energy is 55% more favorable upon fluorination. These results suggest that fluorination of hydrophobic substructures in peptides and proteins may provide new means of increasing protein stability, enhancing protein assembly, and strengthening receptor-ligand interactions.

PMID:
11258889
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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