Structural and thermodynamical basis for molecular recognition between engineered binding proteins
Sammanfattning: The structural determination of interacting proteins, both as individual proteins and in their complex, complemented by thermodynamical studies are vital in order to gain in-depth insights of the phenomena leading to the highly selective protein-protein interactions characteristic of numerous life processes. This thesis describes an investigation of the structural and thermodynamical basis for molecular recognition in two different protein-protein complexes, formed between so-called affibody proteins and their respective targets. Affibody proteins are a class of engineered binding proteins, which can be functionally selected for binding to a given target protein from large collections (libraries) constructed via combinatorial engineering of 13 surface-located positions of the 58-residue three-helix bundle Z domain derived from Staphylococcal protein (SPA).In a first study, an affibody:target protein pair consisting of the ZSPA-1 affibody and the parental Z domain, with a dissociation constant (Kd) of approximately 1 µM, was investigated. ZSPA-1 was in its free state shown to display molten globule-like characteristics. The enthalpy change on binding between Z and ZSPA-1 as measured by isothermal titration calorimetry, was found to be a non-linear function of temperature. This nonlinearity was found to be due to the temperature dependent folded-unfolded equilibrium of ZSPA-1 upon binding to the Z domain and, the energetics of the unfolding equilibrium of the molten globule state of ZSPA-1 could be separated from the binding thermodynamics. Further dissection of the binding entropy revealed that a significant reduction in conformational entropy resulting from the stabilization of the molten globule state of ZSPA-1 upon complex formation could be a major reason for the moderate binding affinity.A second studied affibody:target complex (Kd ~ 0.1 µM) consisted of the ZTaq affibody protein originally selected for binding to Taq DNA polymerase and the anti-ZTaq affibody protein, selected for selective binding to the ZTaq affibody protein, thus constituting an "anti-idiotypic" affinity protein pair. The structure of the ZTaq:anti-ZTaq affibody complex as well as the free state structures of ZTaq and anti-ZTaq were determined using NMR spectroscopy. Both ZTaq and anti-ZTaq are well defined three helix bundles in their free state and do not display the same molten globule-like behaviour of ZSPA-1. The interaction surface was found to involve all of the varied positions in helices 1 and 2 of the anti-ZTaq, the majority of the corresponding side chains in ZTaq, and also several non-mutated residues. The total buried surface area was determined to about 1670 Å2 which is well inside the range of what is typical for many protein-protein complexes, including antibody:antigen complexes. Structural rearrangements, primarily at the side chain level, were observed to take place upon binding. There are similarities between the ZTaq:anti-ZTaq and the Z:ZSPA-1 structure, for instance, the binding interface area in both complexes has a large fraction of non-polar content, the buried surface area is of similar size, and certain residues have the same positioning. However, the relative orientation between the subunits in ZTaq:anti-ZTaq is markedly different from that observed in Z:ZSPA-1. The thermodynamics of ZTaq:anti-ZTaq association were investigated by isothermal titration calorimetry. A dissection of the entropic contributions showed that a large and favourable desolvation entropy of non-polar surface is associated with the binding reaction which is in good agreement with hydrophobic nature of the binding interface, but as in the case for the Z:ZSPA-1 complex a significant loss in conformational entropy opposes complex formation.A comparison with complexes involving affibody proteins or SPA domains suggests that affibody proteins inherit intrinsic binding properties from the original SPA surface. The structural and biophysical data suggest that although extensive mutations are carried out in the Z domain to obtain affibody proteins, this does not necessarily affect the structural integrity or lead to a significant destabilization.
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