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Title: Specificity in protein-protein recognition: conserved Im9 residues are the major determinants of stability in the colicin E9 DNase-Im9 complex.
Authors: Wallis, R
Leung, KY
Osborne, MJ
James, R
Moore, GR
Kleanthous, C
First Published: 13-Jan-1998
Citation: BIOCHEMISTRY, 1998, 37 (2), pp. 476-485
Abstract: The endonuclease group of E colicins are a family of bacterial toxins whose cytotoxic activity in a producing host is inactivated by a specific immunity protein. The DNase of colicin E9 can be bound and inhibited by both cognate and noncognate immunity proteins, the dissociation constants for which span a range of 12-orders of magnitude. DNase binding specificity of the immunity proteins is governed primarily by helix II, the sequence of which is variable in this family of proteins. Heteronuclear NMR experiments have identified helix III along with helix II as the likely DNase binding site, although other regions of Im9 also showed perturbations on binding the E9 DNase. In the present work, we have used the NMR experiments as a guide for alanine scanning mutagenesis of Im9. Our data show that helices II and III of Im9 are indeed the DNase binding site and in addition quantitate the relative binding energy associated with each helix. We find that the conserved residues of helix III make the largest relative contribution toward E9 DNase binding. In conjunction with previous studies, the data suggest that specificity in the colicin-immunity system is governed by a dual recognition mechanism in which highly stabilizing interactions emanating from the conserved regions of an immunity protein act as the binding site anchor and these are modulated by interactions from neighboring, nonconserved amino acid residues. This modulation is likely to take the form of both favorable and unfavorable interactions, the balance of which define the specificity of the protein-protein interaction. The generality of such a dual recognition mechanism in other systems is also discussed.
DOI Link: 10.1021/bi971884a
ISSN: 0006-2960
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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