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Biochemistry. 2004 Aug 10;43(31):10039-49.

Structural studies on the Ca2+-binding domain of human nucleobindin (calnuc).

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  • 1Laboratory of Biophysical Chemistry, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 50 Center Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Nucleobindin, also known as calnuc, participates in Ca2+ storage in the Golgi, as well as in other biological processes that involve DNA-binding and protein-protein interactions. We have determined the three-dimensional solution structure of the Ca(2+)-binding domain of nucleobindin by NMR showing that it consists of two EF-hand motifs. The NMR structure indicates that the phi and psi angles of residues in both motifs are very similar, despite the noncanonical sequence of the C-terminal EF-hand, which contains an arginine residue instead of the typical glycine at the sixth position of the 12-residue loop. The relative orientation of the alpha-helices in the N-terminal EF-hand falls within the common arrangement found in most EF-hand structures. In contrast, the noncanonical EF-hand deviates from the average orientation. The two helix-loop-helix moieties are in the open conformation characteristic of the Ca(2+)-bound state. We find that both motifs bind Ca2+ with apparent dissociation constants of 47 and 40 microM for the noncanonical and the canonical EF-hand, respectively. The Ca(2+)-binding domain of nucleobindin is unstructured in the absence of Ca2+ and folds upon Ca2+ addition. NMR relaxation data and structural studies of the folded domain indicate that it undergoes slow dynamics, suggesting that it is floppier and less compact than a globular domain.

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