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Biochem Cell Biol. 1998;76(2-3):324-33.

A change-in-hand mechanism for S100 signalling.

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Department of Biochemistry and McLaughlin Macromolecular Structure Facility, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


S100 proteins are a group of small dimeric calcium-binding proteins making up a large subclass of the EF-hand family of calcium-binding proteins. Members of this family of proteins have been proposed to act as intracellular calcium modulatory proteins in a fashion analogous to that of the EF-hand sensor proteins troponin-C and calmodulin. Recently, NMR spectroscopy has provided the three-dimensional structures of the S100 family members S100A6 and S100B in both the apo- and calcium-bound forms. These structures have allowed for the identification of a novel calcium-induced conformational change termed the change-in-hand mechanism. Helix III of the C-terminal calcium-binding loop changes its helix-helix interactions (or handness) with the remainder of the molecule primarily owing to the reorientation of the backbone in an effort to coordinate the calcium ion. This reorientation of helix III exposes several residues in the C-terminus and linker regions of S100B resulting in the formation of a hydrophobic patch surrounded be a number of acidic residues. This site is the proposed region for protein-protein recognition.

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