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

Proline isomerism in staphylococcal nuclease characterized by NMR and site-directed mutagenesis.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies have shown that two distinct folded conformations of staphylococcal nuclease coexist in solution and that these two states can interconvert directly without passing through an unfolded state. These experiments have also revealed that the two forms have very different folding kinetics, although the possibility that one component is an obligatory intermediate for the folding of the other form could be discounted. Here we report NMR data which show that alternative unfolded states are also distinguishable. These observations led us to hypothesize that cis/trans isomerism at a single peptide bond between a proline and its preceding residue might be the origin of the conformational multiplicity. Proline 117 was identified as a likely candidate for the site concerned and a mutant protein, in which Pro 117 was replaced by Gly, was constructed in order to test this. Alternative conformations are not observed in the spectrum of this mutant, lending powerful support to this hypothesis.[1]


  1. Proline isomerism in staphylococcal nuclease characterized by NMR and site-directed mutagenesis. Evans, P.A., Dobson, C.M., Kautz, R.A., Hatfull, G., Fox, R.O. Nature (1987) [Pubmed]
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