Here we present modeling and NMR spectroscopic evidence that the function of a Yersinia pestis pMT1 plasmid protein, designated as orf38, is most likely a glutamine binding protein. The modeling was homology-based at a very low level of sequence identity (∼ 16%) and involved structural comparison of multiple templates, as well as template-substrate interaction analyses. Transferred nuclear Overhauser and saturation transfer difference experiments were used to characterize the binding of sugars and amino acids to orf38. The identification and characterization of an unknown protein function using the strategy presented here has applicability to a variety of research areas, including functional genomics and proteomics efforts.
Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.