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Structure. 2005 Feb;13(2):319-27.

Probing the supramodular architecture of a multidomain protein: the structure of syntenin in solution.

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Department of Molecular Physiology, and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Full understanding of the mechanism of function of multidomain proteins is dependent on our knowledge of their supramodular architecture in solution. This is a nontrivial task for both X-ray crystallography and NMR, because intrinsic flexibility makes crystallization of these proteins difficult, while their size creates a challenge for NMR. Here, we describe synergistic application of data derived from X-ray crystallography and NMR residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) to address the question of the supramodular structure of a two-domain protein, syntenin. Syntenin is a 32 kDa molecule containing two PDZ domains and is involved in cytoskeleton-membrane organization. We show that the mutual disposition of the PDZ domains clearly differs from that seen in the crystal structure, and we provide evidence that N- and C-terminal fragments of syntenin, hitherto presumed to lack ordered structure, contain folded structural elements in the full-length protein in contact with the PDZ tandem.

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