Recurrent alpha beta loop structures in TIM barrel motifs show a distinct pattern of conserved structural features.

TitleRecurrent alpha beta loop structures in TIM barrel motifs show a distinct pattern of conserved structural features.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsScheerlinck, J. P., I. Lasters, M. Claessens, M. De Maeyer, F. Pio, P. Delhaise, and S. J. Wodak
Date Published1992 Apr
KeywordsAlcohol Oxidoreductases, Aldose-Ketose Isomerases, Amino Acid Sequence, Amylases, Carbohydrate Epimerases, Enzymes, Hydrogen Bonding, Indole-3-Glycerol-Phosphate Synthase, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Conformation, Triose-Phosphate Isomerase, Tryptophan Synthase

A systematic survey of seven parallel alpha/beta barrel protein domains, based on exhaustive structural comparisons, reveals that a sizable proportion of the alpha beta loops in these proteins--20 out of a total of 49--belong to either one of two loop types previously described by Thornton and co-workers. Six loops are of the alpha beta 1 type, with one residue between the alpha-helix and beta-strand, and 13 are of the alpha beta 3 type, with three residues between the helix and the strand. Protein fragments embedding the identified loops, and termed alpha beta connections since they contain parts of the flanking helix and strand, have been analyzed in detail revealing that each type of connection has a distinct set of conserved structural features. The orientation of the beta-strand relative to the helix and loop portions is different owing to a very localized difference in backbone conformation. In alpha beta 1 connections, the chain enters the beta-strand via a residue adopting an extended conformation, while in alpha beta 3 it does so via a residue in a near alpha-helical conformation. Other conserved structural features include distinct patterns of side chain orientation relative to the beta-sheet surface and of main chain H-bonds in the loop and the beta-strand moieties. Significant differences also occur in packing interactions of conserved hydrophobic residues situated in the last turn of the helix. Yet the alpha-helix surface of both types of connections adopts similar orientations relative to the barrel sheet surface. Our results suggest furthermore that conserved hydrophobic residues along the sequence of the connections, may be correlated more with specific patterns of interactions made with neighboring helices and sheet strands than with helix/strand packing within the connection itself. A number of intriguing observations are also made on the distribution of the identified alpha beta 1 and alpha beta 3 loops within the alpha/beta-barrel motifs. They often occur adjacent to each other; alpha beta 3 loops invariably involve even numbered beta-strands, while alpha beta 1 loops involve preferentially odd beta-strands; all the analyzed proteins contain at least one alpha beta 3 loop in the first half of the eightfold alpha/beta barrel. Possible origins of all these observations, and their relevance to the stability and folding of parallel alpha/beta barrel motifs are discussed.

Alternate JournalProteins
PubMed ID1374562