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Biochemistry. 1992 Nov 24;31(46):11348-56.

NMR studies of defensin antimicrobial peptides. 1. Resonance assignment and secondary structure determination of rabbit NP-2 and human HNP-1.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0215.


Two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used to make resonance assignments of the proton spectra of two defensin antimicrobial peptides, human neutrophil peptide HNP-1 and rabbit neutrophil peptide NP-2. The secondary structures of these peptides were determined from analysis of the proton-proton NOEs and from the positions of slowly exchanging amide protons. Both peptides contain a long stretch of a double-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet in a hairpin conformation that contains a beta-bulge, a short region of triple-stranded beta-sheet, and several tight turns. The NMR results clearly show that HNP-1 forms a dimer or higher order aggregate in solution and that Pro8 exists as a cis peptide bond. The NMR data on these peptides are compared with NMR data for a homologous peptide NP-5 [Bach, A. C., Selsted, M. E., & Pardi, A. (1987) Biochemistry 26, 4389-4397]. Analysis of the conformation-dependent proton chemical shifts shows that it is not possible to confidently judge the structural similarity of the three defensins from chemical shift data alone. However, comparison of the 3JHN alpha coupling constants in NP-2 and NP-5 indicates that the backbone conformations for these peptides are very similar. A more detailed comparison of the solution conformations of the defensins peptides is made in the following paper in this issue where the NMR data are used as input for distance geometry and molecular dynamics calculations to determine the three-dimensional structures of HNP-1 and NP-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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