Analysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures.

TitleAnalysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsAlberts, I. L., K. Nadassy, and S. J. Wodak
JournalProtein Sci
Date Published1998 Aug
KeywordsAspartic Acid, Binding Sites, Catalysis, Chlorine, Crystallography, X-Ray, Cysteine, Databases, Factual, Glutamine, Histidine, Models, Molecular, Molecular Conformation, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Protein Binding, Sulfur, Zinc

The geometrical properties of zinc binding sites in a dataset of high quality protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank have been examined to identify important differences between zinc sites that are directly involved in catalysis and those that play a structural role. Coordination angles in the zinc primary coordination sphere are compared with ideal values for each coordination geometry, and zinc coordination distances are compared with those in small zinc complexes from the Cambridge Structural Database as a guide of expected trends. We find that distances and angles in the primary coordination sphere are in general close to the expected (or ideal) values. Deviations occur primarily for oxygen coordinating atoms and are found to be mainly due to H-bonding of the oxygen coordinating ligand to protein residues, bidentate binding arrangements, and multi-zinc sites. We find that H-bonding of oxygen containing residues (or water) to zinc bound histidines is almost universal in our dataset and defines the elec-His-Zn motif. Analysis of the stereochemistry shows that carboxyl elec-His-Zn motifs are geometrically rigid, while water elec-His-Zn motifs show the most geometrical variation. As catalytic motifs have a higher proportion of carboxyl elec atoms than structural motifs, they provide a more rigid framework for zinc binding. This is understood biologically, as a small distortion in the zinc position in an enzyme can have serious consequences on the enzymatic reaction. We also analyze the sequence pattern of the zinc ligands and residues that provide elecs, and identify conserved hydrophobic residues in the endopeptidases that also appear to contribute to stabilizing the catalytic zinc site. A zinc binding template in protein crystal structures is derived from these observations.

Alternate JournalProtein Sci.
PubMed ID10082367
PubMed Central IDPMC2144076