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The C-terminal Domain of Eukaryotic Acidic Ribosomal P2 Proteins is Intrinsically Disordered with Conserved Structural Propensities

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The P2 protein (equivalent of L7/L12 in prokaryotes), a member of the ribosomal stalk in eukaryotes, is highly conserved, particularly its C-terminal domain. In order to understand the sequence-structure-function relationships in eukaryotic C-terminal stretches, about which nothing is known at the moment, we have investigated here, the structural characteristics of these domains of P2 proteins from three different species, namely, human, Plasmodium falciparum, and Toxoplasma gondii; the sequence homology among these is 70% although sequence identity is only 36%. About 50 amino acids of the C-terminal domains of P2 from the three species were expressed and purified. Gel filtration studies indicated peaks for both monomer and oligomer at milimolar concentrations and also suggested monomer-multimer equilibrium. Circular Dichroism showed that this domain does not have stable secondary structures. 1H-15N HSQC spectra in every case showed one set of requisite number of peaks as per the sequence. This indicated that there is rapid multimer-monomer equilibrium in solution and the observed peaks which originate from the monomer reflect average chemical shifts. The spectral dispersion in all the cases is narrow, although there are noticeable differences in the three proteins. Detailed NMR investigations revealed that this protein domain is intrinsically disordered although there are short segments with preferred secondary structural propensities at similar places along the sequence. This may suggest that the sequence is selected in evolution to impart disorder, and thereby accord conformational adaptability.
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Keywords: Acidic ribosomal protein P2; C-terminal; NMR; P proteins; eukaryotes; intrinsically disordered

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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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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