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Proteins. 1998 May 15;31(3):320-33.

Packing forces in nine crystal forms of cutinase.

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Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques, AFMB-CNRS, Marseille, France.


During the characterization of mutants and covalently inhibited complexes of Fusarium solani cutinase, nine different crystal forms have been obtained so far. Protein mutants with a different surface charge distribution form new intermolecular salt bridges or long-range electrostatic interactions that are accompanied by a change in the crystal packing. The whole protein surface is involved in the packing contacts and the hydrophobicities of the protein surfaces in mutual contact turned out to be noncorrelated, which indicates that the packing interactions are nonspecific. In the case of the hydrophobic variants, the packing contacts showed some specificity, as the protein in the crystal tends to form either crystallographic or noncrystallographic dimers, which shield the hydrophobic surface from the solvent. The likelihood of surface atoms to be involved in a crystal contact is the same for both polar and nonpolar atoms. However, when taking areas in the 200-600 A2 range, instead of individual atoms, the either highly hydrophobic or highly polar surface regions were found to have an increased probability of establishing crystal lattice contacts. The protein surface surrounding the active-site crevice of cutinase constitutes a large hydrophobic area that is involved in packing contacts in all the various crystalline contexts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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