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Structural Refinement of Insecticidal Plant Proteinase Inhibitors from Nicotiana alata

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Ornamental tobacco (Nicotiana alata) produces a series of 6 kDa proteinase inhibitors belonging to the potato type II inhibitor family. These proteins inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin, the main digestive enzymes of predatory insects, thus leading to starvation, impaired larval development or death. In this context, the three-dimensional structures of these inhibitors are important for developing novel strategies for pest control. The solution structures of C1 and T1, the two main prototypes of the N. alata inhibitors, were originally determined more than a decade ago (J. Mol. Biol. 242, 231-243 (1994) and Biochemistry 34, 14304-14311 (1995)). Since then methods for NMR structure calculations have evolved considerably. Here we report the refinement of the structures of C1 and T1 with state-of-the-art protocols for NMR structure calculations. This refinement leads to an improved quality of the structures, making them a more reliable basis for the development of novel pesticides and modeling applications.

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Keywords: NMR spectroscopy; potato type II inhibitors; protein structure; structure calculations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • 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.
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