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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Physical characterization and crystallization of the carbohydrate-recognition domain of a mannose-binding protein from rat.

A portion of rat mannose-binding protein A (MBP-A), a Ca(2+)-dependent animal lectin, has been overproduced in a bacterial expression system, biochemically characterized, and crystallized. A fragment corresponding to the COOH-terminal 115 residues of native MBP-A, produced by subtilisin digestion of the bacterially expressed protein, contains the carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD). Gel filtration, chemical cross-linking, and crystallographic self-rotation function analyses indicate that the subtilisin fragment is a dimer, although the complete bacterially expressed fragment, containing the neck and CRD of MBP-A, is a trimer. Crystals of the minimal CRD, obtained only as a complex with a Man6GlcNAc2Asn glycopeptide, diffract to Bragg spacings of at least 1.7 A. Several trivalent lanthanide ions (Ln3+) can substitute for Ca2+, as assessed by their ability to support carbohydrate binding and to protect the CRD from proteolysis in a manner similar to that observed for Ca2+. These assays indicate that Ln2+ binds about 30 times more tightly than Ca2+ to the CRD, and that two Ca2+ or Ln3+ bind to each monomer, a result confirmed by determination of the Ho3+ positions in a Ho(3+)-containing crystal of the CRD. Crystals grown in the presence of Ln3+ belong to different space groups from those obtained with Ca2+ and are therefore not useable for traditional crystallographic phase determination methods, but are well-suited for high resolution structure determination by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing.[1]


  1. Physical characterization and crystallization of the carbohydrate-recognition domain of a mannose-binding protein from rat. Weis, W.I., Crichlow, G.V., Murthy, H.M., Hendrickson, W.A., Drickamer, K. J. Biol. Chem. (1991) [Pubmed]
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