Recent studies in the field of de novo protein design have focused on the construction of native-like structures. Here we describe the design and characterization of an isoleucine zipper peptide intended to form a parallel triple-stranded coiled coil. To obtain the native-like structural uniqueness, the hydrophobic interface of the peptide consists of β-branched Ile residues for complementary side chain packing. The peptide forms a stable triple-stranded coiled coil, as determined by circular dichroism and sedimentation equilibrium analyses. A fluorescence quenching assay after the incorporation of acridine revealed a parallel orientation of the peptides. The structural uniqueness of the coiled coil was confirmed by proton-deuterium amide hydrogen exchange and hydrophobic dye binding. The peptide contains amide protons with hydrogen exchange rates that are approximately an order of magnitude slower than those expected if the exchange occurred via global unfolding. A hydrophobic dye does not bind to the peptide. These results strongly suggest that the peptide folds into a well-packed structure that is very similar to the native state of a natural protein. Thus, Ile residues in the hydrophobic interface can improve the side chain packing, which can impart native-like structural uniqueness to the designed coiled coil.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology