Phosphoserine for the generation of lanthanide-binding sites on proteins for paramagnetic nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Mekkattu Tharayil, Sreelakshmi; Mahawaththa, Mithun Chamikara; Loh, Choy-Theng; Adekoya, Ibidolapo; Otting, Gottfried

Pseudocontact shifts (PCSs) generated by paramagnetic lanthanide ions provide valuable long-range structural information in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic analyses of biological macromolecules such as proteins, but labelling proteins site-specifically with a single lanthanide ion remains an ongoing challenge, especially for proteins that are not suitable for ligation with cysteine-reactive lanthanide complexes. We show that a specific lanthanide-binding site can be installed on proteins by incorporation of phosphoserine in conjunction with other negatively charged residues, such as aspartate, glutamate or a second phosphoserine residue. The close proximity of the binding sites to the protein backbone leads to good immobilization of the lanthanide ion, as evidenced by the excellent quality of fits between experimental PCSs and PCSs calculated with a single magnetic susceptibility anisotropy (inline-formulaΔχ) tensor. An improved two-plasmid system was designed to enhance the yields of proteins with genetically encoded phosphoserine, and good lanthanide ion affinities were obtained when the side chains of the phosphoserine and aspartate residues are not engaged in salt bridges, although the presence of too many negatively charged residues in close proximity can also lead to unfolding of the protein. In view of the quality of the inline-formulaΔχ tensors that can be obtained from lanthanide-binding sites generated by site-specific incorporation of phosphoserine, this method presents an attractive tool for generating PCSs in stable proteins, particularly as it is independent of cysteine residues.

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Mekkattu Tharayil, Sreelakshmi / Mahawaththa, Mithun Chamikara / Loh, Choy-Theng / et al: Phosphoserine for the generation of lanthanide-binding sites on proteins for paramagnetic nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Sreelakshmi Mekkattu Tharayil et al.

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