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See detailRevisiting The Ramachandran Plot: Hard-Sphere Repulsion, Electrostatics, And H-Bonding In The Alpha-Helix
Ho, Bk.; Thomas, Annick ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg

in Protein Science : A Publication of the Protein Society (2003), 12(11), 2508-22

What determines the shape of the allowed regions in the Ramachandran plot? Although Ramachandran explained these regions in terms of 1-4 hard-sphere repulsions, there are discrepancies with the data where ... [more ▼]

What determines the shape of the allowed regions in the Ramachandran plot? Although Ramachandran explained these regions in terms of 1-4 hard-sphere repulsions, there are discrepancies with the data where, in particular, the alphaR, alphaL, and beta-strand regions are diagonal. The alphaR-region also varies along the alpha-helix where it is constrained at the center and the amino terminus but diffuse at the carboxyl terminus. By analyzing a high-resolution database of protein structures, we find that certain 1-4 hard-sphere repulsions in the standard steric map of Ramachandran do not affect the statistical distributions. By ignoring these steric clashes (NH(i+1) and O(i-1)C), we identify a revised set of steric clashes (CbetaO, O(i-1)N(i+1), CbetaN(i+1), O(i-1)Cbeta, and O(i-1)O) that produce a better match with the data. We also find that the strictly forbidden region in the Ramachandran plot is excluded by multiple steric clashes, whereas the outlier region is excluded by only one significant steric clash. However, steric clashes alone do not account for the diagonal regions. Using electrostatics to analyze the conformational dependence of specific interatomic interactions, we find that the diagonal shape of the alphaR and alphaL-regions also depends on the optimization of the NH(i+1) and O(i-1)C interactions, and the diagonal beta-strand region is due to the alignment of the CO and NH dipoles. Finally, we reproduce the variation of the Ramachandran plot along the alpha-helix in a simple model that uses only H-bonding constraints. This allows us to rationalize the difference between the amino terminus and the carboxyl terminus of the alpha-helix in terms of backbone entropy. [less ▲]

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See detailInsertion Of X-Ray Structures Of Proteins In Membranes
Basyn, F.; Spies, B.; Bouffioux, O. et al

in Journal of Molecular Graphics & Modelling (2003), 22(1), 11-21

Few structures of membrane proteins are known and their relationships with the membrane are unclear. In a previous report, 20 X-ray structures of transmembrane proteins were analyzed in silico for their ... [more ▼]

Few structures of membrane proteins are known and their relationships with the membrane are unclear. In a previous report, 20 X-ray structures of transmembrane proteins were analyzed in silico for their orientation in a 36A-thick membrane [J. Mol. Graph. Model. 20 (2001) 235]. In this paper, we use the same approach to analyze how the insertion of the X-ray structures varies with the bilayer thickness. The protein structures are kept constant and, at each membrane thickness, the protein is allowed to tilt and rotate in order to accommodate at their best. The conditions are said to be optimal when the energy of insertion is minimal. The results show that most helix bundles require thicker membranes than porin barrels. Moreover, in a few instances, the ideal membrane thickness is unrealistic with respect to natural membranes supporting that the X-ray structure requires adaptation to stabilize in membrane. For instance, the squalene cyclase could adapt by bending the side chains of its ring of lysine and arginine in order to increase the hydrophobic surface in contact with membranes. We analyzed the distribution of amino acids in the water, interface and acyl chain layers of the membrane and compared with the literature. [less ▲]

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See detailLipid-Interacting Properties Of The N-Terminal Domain Of Human Apolipoprotein C-III
Lins, Laurence ULg; Flore, Christelle ULg; Chapelle, L. et al

in Protein Engineering (2002), 15(6), 513-20

The lipid-interacting properties of the N-terminal domain of human apolipoprotein C-III (apo C-III) were investigated. By molecular modeling, we predicted that the 6-20 fragment of apo C-III is obliquely ... [more ▼]

The lipid-interacting properties of the N-terminal domain of human apolipoprotein C-III (apo C-III) were investigated. By molecular modeling, we predicted that the 6-20 fragment of apo C-III is obliquely orientated at the lipid/water interface owing to an asymmetric distribution of the hydrophobic residues when helical. This is characteristic of 'tilted peptides' originally discovered in viral fusion proteins and later in various proteins including some involved in lipoprotein metabolism. Since most tilted peptides were shown to induce liposome fusion in vitro, the fusogenic capacity of the 6-20 fragment of apo C-III was tested on unilamellar liposomes and compared with the well characterized SIV fusion peptide. Mutants were designed by molecular modeling to assess the role of the hydrophobicity gradient in the fusion. FTIR spectroscopy confirmed the predominantly helical conformation of the peptides in TFE solution and also in lipid-peptide complexes. Lipid-mixing experiments showed that the apo C-III (6-20) peptide is able to increase the fluorescence of a lipophilic fluorescent probe. The vesicle fusion was confirmed by core-mixing and leakage assays. The hydrophobicity gradient plays a key role in the fusion process because the mutant with no hydrophobic asymmetry but the same mean hydrophobicity as the wild type does not induce significant lipid fusion. The apo C-III (6-20) fragment is, however, less fusogenic than the SIV peptide, in agreement with their respective mean hydrophobicity. Since lipid fusion should not be the physiological function of the N-terminal domain of apo CIII, we suggest that its peculiar distribution of hydrophobic residues is important for the lipid-binding properties of apo C-III and should be involved in apolipoprotein and lipid exchanges crucial for triglyceride metabolism. [less ▲]

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See detailFcpac: Fast Calculation Of Partial Atomic Charges Using Strictly Localized Molecular Orbitals
Swinnen, M.; Thomas, Annick ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg

in Computational Materials Science (2002), 25(4), 590-595

Most force fields of molecular mechanics use constant partial atomic charges whereas it is now admitted that those charges strongly vary with the environment. Charge variations are particularly important ... [more ▼]

Most force fields of molecular mechanics use constant partial atomic charges whereas it is now admitted that those charges strongly vary with the environment. Charge variations are particularly important in hydrogen bonds where polar entities come close together. Moreover, organizing H-bonds in networks, like in secondary structures of proteins, go with cooperative effects which lead to an overall electrostatic stabilization of the system. This is why variable atomic charges are required to correctly mimic these effects. Different methods of charge calculation were developed, most use polarizable dipole or electronegativity equalization. In this work, we propose a semi-empirical method (fast calculation of partial atomic charges (FCPAC)) which derives partial atomic charges from strictly localized molecular orbitals. The approximations enable to treat molecular systems with hundreds of atoms within reasonable delays. Results reported here show that charges calculated with FCPAC are similar to charges derived from Mulliken’s population analysis of a restricted Hartree–Fock wave function using the split valence basis set 6-31G and including polarization orbitals p and d respectively for hydrogen and heavy atoms, RHF/6-31G(d,p). Comparison with ab initio calculation was also performed on a system composed of five formamide molecules disposed in the same geometry as peptide bonds in an a helix. Charges variations are similar and suggest that FCPAC is suitable for quantitative estimation of cooperative effects. [less ▲]

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See detailAromatic Side-Chain Interactions In Proteins. I. Main Structural Features
Thomas, Annick ULg; Meurisse, R.; Charloteaux, Benoît ULg et al

in Proteins-Structure Function and Genetics (2002), 48(4), 628-34

In a data set of 593 nonhomologous proteins from the PDB, we have analyzed the pairing of phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and histidine residues with their closest aromatic partner. The frequency ... [more ▼]

In a data set of 593 nonhomologous proteins from the PDB, we have analyzed the pairing of phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and histidine residues with their closest aromatic partner. The frequency distribution of the shortest interatomic distance of partners is bimodal with a sharp peak at approximately 3.8 A and a wider one at a longer distance. Only the 3.8 A peak corresponds to direct ring-ring interactions thus aromatic pairs. The aromatic pairs were separated into two classes, near-sequence pairs and far-sequence pairs. Near sequence pairs stabilize local structure, and far-sequence pairs stabilize tertiary structure. Far-sequence pairs (74% of all pairs) mainly bridge two beta-strands, followed by pairs that bridge a beta-strand and a helix, and pairs that bridge a beta-strand and a random coil structure. Pairs that bridge helices are rare. The secondary structure of the near-sequence pairs depends on the partner distance in the sequence. When the partners are 1, 3, or 4 residues apart in the sequence, pairs are mostly found in helical structures. When the partners are two apart, pairs are mostly found in the same beta-strand. Analysis of the frequency of near sequence pairs supports the hypothesis that aromatic pairing occurs after, rather than before, the formation of secondary structures. [less ▲]

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See detailAromatic Side-Chain Interactions In Proteins. II. Near- And Far-Sequence Phe-X Pairs
Thomas, Annick ULg; Meurisse, R.; Brasseur, Robert ULg

in Proteins-Structure Function and Genetics (2002), 48(4), 635-44

We have collected all aromatic pairs (3152) involving an N-phenyl partner in a dataset of 593 proteins of the PDB: 728 of these pairs involve a partner residue less than 6 apart in the sequence. These ... [more ▼]

We have collected all aromatic pairs (3152) involving an N-phenyl partner in a dataset of 593 proteins of the PDB: 728 of these pairs involve a partner residue less than 6 apart in the sequence. These near-sequence Phe-X pairs correspond to specific conformations that stabilize secondary structures, mainly alpha-helices when the residues are 1, 3, and 4 apart, and beta-strands when they are 2 apart in the sequence. These conformations are not spatially random and have been examined in detail. The remaining phenylalanine pairs (2424) are between partners more than 5 apart in the sequence. Of these far-sequence pairs, 34% of occurrences are in sheets. Next in frequencies are pairs that bridge a beta-strand to a helix (24%), followed by pairs that bridge a beta-strand to a random coiled structure (15%). Helix to helix pairs only constitute 12% of these far-sequence pairs. Analysis of the pairing frequency supports the hypothesis that aromatic interactions are late events of protein folding. [less ▲]

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See detailComputational Study Of Lipid-Destabilizing Protein Fragments: Towards A Comprehensive View Of Tilted Peptides
Lins, Laurence ULg; Charloteaux, Benoît ULg; Thomas, Annick ULg et al

in Proteins-Structure Function and Genetics (2001), 44(4), 435-47

Tilted peptides are short sequence fragments (10-20 residues long) that possess an asymmetric hydrophobicity gradient along their sequence when they are helical. Due to this gradient, they adopt a tilted ... [more ▼]

Tilted peptides are short sequence fragments (10-20 residues long) that possess an asymmetric hydrophobicity gradient along their sequence when they are helical. Due to this gradient, they adopt a tilted orientation towards a single lipid/water interface and destabilize the lipids. We have detected those peptides in many different proteins with various functions. While being all tilted-oriented at a single lipid/water interface, no consensus sequence can be evidenced. In order to better understand the relationships between their lipid-destabilizing activity and their properties, we used IMPALA to classify the tilted peptides. This method allows the study of interactions between a peptide and a modeled lipid bilayer using simple restraint functions designed to mimic some of the membrane properties. We predict that tilted peptides have access to a wide conformational space in membranes, in contrast to transmembrane and amphipathic helices. In agreement with previous studies, we suggest that those metastable configurations could lead to the perturbation of the acyl chains organization and could be a general mechanism for lipid destabilization. Our results further suggest that tilted peptides fall into two classes: those from proteins acting on membrane behave differently than destabilizing fragments from interfacial proteins. While the former have equal access to the two layers of the membrane, the latter are confined within a single lipid layer. This could be in relation with the organization of lipid substrate on which the peptides physiologically act. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Human Vpac(1) Receptor - Three-Dimensional Model And Mutagenesis Of The N-Terminal Domain
Lins, Laurence ULg; Couvineau, A.; Rouyer-Fessard, C. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(13),

The human VPAC(1) receptor for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide belongs to the class II family of G-protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane ... [more ▼]

The human VPAC(1) receptor for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide belongs to the class II family of G-protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane segments. Like for all class II receptors, the extracellular N-terminal domain of the human VPAC(1) receptor plays a predominant role in peptide ligand recognition. To determine the three-dimensional structure of this N-terminal domain (residues 1-144), the Protein Data Bank (PDB) was screened for a homologous protein. A subdomain of yeast lipase B was found to have 27% sequence identity and 50% sequence homology with the N-terminal domain (8) of the VPAC(1) receptor together with a good alignment of the hydrophobic clusters. A model of the N-terminal domain of VPAC(1) receptor was thus constructed by homology. It indicated the presence of a putative signal sequence in the N-terminal extremity. Moreover, residues (Glu(36), Trp(67), Asp(68), Trp(73), and Gly(109)) which were shown to be crucial for VIP binding are gathered around a groove that is essentially negatively charged. New putatively important residues for VIP binding were suggested from the model analysis. Site-directed mutagenesis and stable transfection of mutants in CHO cells indicated that Pro(74), Pro(87), Phe(90), and Trp(110) are indeed important for VIP binding and activation of adenylyl cyclase activation. Combination of molecular modeling and directed mutagenesis provided the first partial three-dimensional structure of a VIP-binding domain, constituted of an electronegative groove with an outspanning tryptophan shell at one end, in the N-terminal extracellular region of the human VPAC(1) receptor. [less ▲]

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See detailPrediction Of Membrane Protein Orientation In Lipid Bilayers: A Theoretical Approach
Basyn, F.; Charloteaux, Benoît ULg; Thomas, Annick ULg et al

in Journal of Molecular Graphics & Modelling (2001), 20(3), 235-44

Over the past few years, several three-dimensional (3-D) structures of membrane proteins have been described with increasing accuracy, but their relationship with membranes are still not well understood ... [more ▼]

Over the past few years, several three-dimensional (3-D) structures of membrane proteins have been described with increasing accuracy, but their relationship with membranes are still not well understood. Recently, we have developed an empirical method, Integral Membrane Protein and Lipid Association (IMPALA), to predict the insertion of molecules (lipids, drugs) into lipid bilayers (Proteins 30 (1998) 357). The IMPALA uses a Monte Carlo minimisation procedure to calculate the depth and the angle of insertion of membrane-interacting molecules taking into account the restraints dictated by a lipid bilayer. In this paper, we use IMPALA to test the insertion of 23 integral membranous proteins (IMPs) and 2 soluble proteins into membranes. Four IMP are studied in detail: OmpA, maltoporin, MsCl channel and bacteriorhodopsin. The 3-D structures of the proteins are kept constant and the insertion into membrane is monitored by minimising the value of the restraint representing the sum of two terms, one for lipid perturbation and the other for hydrophobicity. The two soluble proteins are rejected from the membrane whereas, under the same conditions, all the membrane proteins remain inside, if the solvent accessible surface of the amino acids located inside the pore of porins is ignored. The results give the tilt angle of the IMP helices or strands with respect to the membrane surface and the depth of the protein mass centre insertion. We conclude that the restraint terms of IMPALA could be used to study the insertion of model structures or complexes of proteins within membranes. [less ▲]

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See detailPex, Analytical Tools For Pdb Files. I. Gf-Pex: Basic File To Describe A Protein
Thomas, Annick ULg; Bouffioux, O.; Geeurickx, D. et al

in Proteins-Structure Function and Genetics (2001), 43(1), 28-36

Pex are created to extract numeric and string descriptions of protein structures from PDB files. This concerns covalent bond lengths and angles, secondary structures, residues in interaction, H-bond ... [more ▼]

Pex are created to extract numeric and string descriptions of protein structures from PDB files. This concerns covalent bond lengths and angles, secondary structures, residues in interaction, H-bond lengths and geometry, etc. Several kinds of Pex are generated: (1) general feature (GF-Pex); (2) H-bond (H-Pex); and (3) accessible surface (AS-Pex) and force potential (FP-Pex). We describe the general principles of Pex and detail the GF-Pex files. Using the GF-Pex of 131 proteins, we analyze the mean residue frequencies, the straight phi/psi distribution and the major kinds of secondary structures in proteins. Thomas et al. (this issue) analyzes the main chain H-bonds in those proteins. The GF-Pex and H-Pex files of the 131 proteins can be downloaded from the CBMN site (http://www.fsagx.ac.be/bp/). [less ▲]

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See detailPex, Analytical Tools For Pdb Files. II. H-Pex: Noncanonical H-Bonds In Alpha-Helices
Thomas, Annick ULg; Benhabiles, N.; Meurisse, R. et al

in Proteins-Structure Function and Genetics (2001), 43(1), 37-44

We use the H-Pex (Thomas et al., this issue) to analyze the main chain interactions in 131 proteins. In antiparallel beta-sheets, the geometry of the N...O bond is: median N...O distances, 2.9 SA, C==O ... [more ▼]

We use the H-Pex (Thomas et al., this issue) to analyze the main chain interactions in 131 proteins. In antiparallel beta-sheets, the geometry of the N...O bond is: median N...O distances, 2.9 SA, C==O...N angles at 154 degrees and the C alpha--C==O...H angles are dispersed around 3 degrees. In some instances, the other side of the C==O axis is occupied by a HC alpha. As recently supported by Vargas et al. (J Am Chem Soc 2000;122:4750-4755) C alpha H...O and NH...O could cooperate to sheet stability. In alpha-helices, the main chain C==O interact with the NH of their n + 4 neighbor on one side, and with a C beta H or C gamma H on the other side. The median O...N distance (3.0 A) and C==N angle (147 degrees) suggest a canonical H-bond, but the C alpha--C==O...H dihedral angle invalidates this option, since the hydrogen attacks the oxygen at 122 degrees, i.e., between the sp(2) and pi orbitals. This supports that the H-bond is noncanonical. In many instances, the C gamma H or the C beta H of the n + 4 residue stands opposite to the NH with respect to the oxygen. Therefore, we propose that, in alpha-helices, the C gamma H or C beta H and the NH of the n + 4 residue hold the oxygen like an electrostatic pincher. [less ▲]

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See detailIs Aggregation Of Beta-Amyloid Peptides A Mis-Functioning Of A Current Interaction Process?
Festy, F.; Lins, Laurence ULg; Peranzi, G. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology (2001), 1546(2), 356-64

In a previous study, Hughes et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93 (1996) 2065-2070] demonstrated that the amyloid peptide is able to interact with itself in a two-hybrid system and that interaction is ... [more ▼]

In a previous study, Hughes et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93 (1996) 2065-2070] demonstrated that the amyloid peptide is able to interact with itself in a two-hybrid system and that interaction is specific. They further supported that the method could be used to define the sequences that might be important in nucleation-dependent aggregation. The sequence of the amyloid peptide can be split into four clusters, two hydrophilic (1-16 and 22-28) and two hydrophobic (17-21 and 29-42). We designed by molecular modeling and tested by the two-hybrid approach, series of mutations spread all over the sequence and changing the distribution of hydrophobicity and/or the spatial hindrance. In the two-hybrid assay, interaction of native Abeta is reproduced. Screening of mutations demonstrates that the C-domain (residues 29-40 (42)), the median domain (residues 17-22) and the N-domain (1-16) are all crucial for interaction. This demonstrates that almost all fragments of the amyloid peptide but a loop (residues 23-28) and the C-term amino acid are important for the native interaction. We support that the folded three-dimensional (3D) structure is the Abeta-Abeta interacting species, that the whole sequence is involved in that 3D fold which has a low secondary structure propensity and a high susceptibility to mutations and thus should have a low stability. The native fold of Abeta could be stabilized in Abeta-Abeta complexes which could in other circumstances facilitate the nucleation event of aggregation that leads to the formation of stable senile plaques. [less ▲]

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See detailInteraction Between The N-Terminal Domain Of Gastric H,K-Atpase And The Spectrin Binding Domain Of Ankyrin Iii
Festy, F.; Robert, Jocelyne ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(11), 7721-6

We screened a cDNA bank of rabbit gastric fundic mucosa by two-hybrid assays looking for binding partners of the N-terminal domain of the rabbit gastric H,K-ATPase. We extracted five clones sharing more ... [more ▼]

We screened a cDNA bank of rabbit gastric fundic mucosa by two-hybrid assays looking for binding partners of the N-terminal domain of the rabbit gastric H,K-ATPase. We extracted five clones sharing more than 90% sequence identity. The longest clone codes for a protein sharing a high identity (96 and 96.8%, respectively) with a fragment of the membrane domain, from Arg-835 to Ser-873, plus the major part of the "spectrin binding domain" going from Glu-874 to Leu-1455 of human and mouse ankyrin III. We conclude that the membrane and spectrin binding domains of the rabbit ankyrin III are candidates for the binding partner of the N-terminal domain of the rabbit gastric H,K-ATPase. To validate the ankyrin-ATPase interaction and to test its specificity, we produced both domains in yeast and bacteria, coimmunoprecipitated them with an anti-ATPase antibody, and copurified them by affinity chromatography. The sequence of rabbit ankyrin III was not known, and this is the first report demonstrating that the ankyrin III and the H,K-ATPase interact with no intermediate. The interaction involves the N-terminal domain of the ATPase on one hand and the spectrin binding domain of the ankyrin on the other. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification Of Key Residues For Interaction Of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide With Human Vpac(1) And Vpac(2) Receptors And Development Of A Highly Selective Vpac(1) Receptor Agonist - Alanine Scanning And Molecular Modeling Of The Peptide
Nicole, P.; Lins, Laurence ULg; Rouyer-Fessard, C. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2000), 275(31), 24003-12

The widespread neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has two receptors VPAC(1) and VPAC(2). Solid-phase syntheses of VIP analogs in which each amino acid has been changed to alanine (Ala scan ... [more ▼]

The widespread neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has two receptors VPAC(1) and VPAC(2). Solid-phase syntheses of VIP analogs in which each amino acid has been changed to alanine (Ala scan) or glycine was achieved and each analog was tested for: (i) three-dimensional structure by ab initio molecular modeling; (ii) ability to inhibit (125)I-VIP binding (K(i)) and to stimulate adenylyl cyclase activity (EC(50)) in membranes from cell clones stably expressing human recombinant VPAC(1) or VPAC(2) receptor. The data show that substituting residues at 14 positions out of 28 in VIP resulted in a >10-fold increase of K(i) or EC(50) at the VPAC(1) receptor. Modeling of the three-dimensional structure of native VIP (central alpha-helice from Val(5) to Asn(24) with random coiled N and C terminus) and analogs shows that substitutions of His(1), Val(5), Arg(14), Lys(15), Lys(21), Leu(23), and Ile(26) decreased biological activity without altering the predicted structure, supporting that those residues directly interact with VPAC(1) receptor. The interaction of the analogs with human VPAC(2) receptor is similar to that observed with VPAC(1) receptor, with three remarkable exceptions: substitution of Thr(11) and Asn(28) by alanine increased K(i) for binding to VPAC(2) receptor; substitution of Tyr(22) by alanine increased EC(50) for stimulating adenylyl cyclase activity through interaction with the VPAC(2) receptor. By combining 3 mutations at positions 11, 22, and 28, we developed the [Ala(11,22,28)]VIP analog which constitutes the first highly selective (>1,000-fold) human VPAC(1) receptor agonist derived from VIP ever described. [less ▲]

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See detailA Fast Method To Predict Protein Interaction Sites From Sequences
Gallet, X.; Charloteaux, Benoît ULg; Thomas, Annick ULg et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (2000), 302(4), 917-26

A simple method for predicting residues involved in protein interaction sites is proposed. In the absence of any structural report, the procedure identifies linear stretches of sequences as "receptor ... [more ▼]

A simple method for predicting residues involved in protein interaction sites is proposed. In the absence of any structural report, the procedure identifies linear stretches of sequences as "receptor-binding domains" (RBDs) by analysing hydrophobicity distribution. The sequences of two databases of non-homologous interaction sites eliciting various biological activities were tested; 59-80 % were detected as RBDs. A statistical analysis of amino acid frequencies was carried out in known interaction sites and in predicted RBDs. RBDs were predicted from the 80,000 sequences of the Swissprot database. In both cases, arginine is the most frequently occurring residue. The RBD procedure can also detect residues involved in specific interaction sites such as the DNA-binding (95 % detected) and Ca-binding domains (83 % detected). We report two recent analyses; from the prediction of RBDs in sequences to the experimental demonstration of the functional activities. The examples concern a retroviral Gag protein and a penicillin-binding protein. We support that this method is a quick way to predict protein interaction sites from sequences and is helpful for guiding experiments such as site-specific mutageneses, two-hybrid systems or the synthesis of inhibitors. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Optimisation Of The Helix/Helix Interaction Of A Transmembrane Dimer Is Improved By The Impala Restraint Field
Ducarme, P.; Thomas, Annick ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2000), 1509(1-2), 148-54

A continuous membrane model (IMPALA) was previously developed to predict how hydrophobic spans of proteins insert in membranes (Mol. Mod. 2 (1996) 27). Using that membrane model, we looked for the ... [more ▼]

A continuous membrane model (IMPALA) was previously developed to predict how hydrophobic spans of proteins insert in membranes (Mol. Mod. 2 (1996) 27). Using that membrane model, we looked for the interactions between several hydrophobic spans. We used the glycophorin A dimer as an archetype of polytopic protein to validate the approach. We find that the native complex do not dislocate when it is submitted to a 10(5) steps optimisation whereas separated spans converge back to a native-like complex in the same conditions. We also observe that IMPALA restraints are not strictly mandatory but do increase the efficiency of the procedure. [less ▲]

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See detailProposition d’un modèle 3D partiel du site de liaison du VIP sur le récepteur VPAC1
Lins, Laurence ULg; Couvineau, A; Laburthe, M et al

Conference (1999, January)

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See detailProposition d’un modèle 3D partiel du site de liaison du VIP sur le récepteur VPAC1
Lins, Laurence ULg; Couvineau, A; Laburthe, M et al

Conference (1999, January)

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See detailMolecular Determinants Of The Interaction Between The C-Terminal Domain Of Alzheimer'S Beta-Amyloid Peptide And Apolipoprotein E Alpha-Helices
Lins, Laurence ULg; Thomas, Annick ULg; Pillot, T. et al

in Journal of Neurochemistry (1999), 73(2), 758-69

In a previous work, we predicted and demonstrated that the 29-42-residue fragment of beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta peptide) has in vitro capacities close to those of the tilted fragment of viral fusion ... [more ▼]

In a previous work, we predicted and demonstrated that the 29-42-residue fragment of beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta peptide) has in vitro capacities close to those of the tilted fragment of viral fusion proteins. We further demonstrated that apolipoprotein E2 and E3 but not apolipoprotein E4 can decrease the fusogenic activity of Abeta(29-42) via a direct interaction. Therefore, we suggested that this fragment is implicated in the neurotoxicity of Abeta and in the protective effects of apolipoprotein E in Alzheimer's disease. Because structurally related apolipoproteins do not interact with the Abeta C-terminal domain but inhibit viral fusion, we suggested that interactions existing between fusogenic peptides and apolipoproteins are selective and responsible for the inhibition of fusion. In this study, we simulated interactions of all amphipathic helices of apolipoproteins E and A-I with Abeta and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) fusogenic fragments by molecular modeling. We further calculated cross-interactions that do not inhibit fusion in vitro. The results suggest that interactions of hydrophobic residues are the major event to inhibit the fusogenic capacities of Abeta(29-42) and SIV peptides. Selectivity of those interactions is due to the steric complementarity between bulky hydrophobic residues in the fusogenic fragments and hydrophobic residues in the apolipoprotein C-terminal amphipathic helices. [less ▲]

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