Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11099375
J. Mol. Biol. 2000 Dec;304(4):497-505
Changes in the molecular conformation of proteins can result from a variety of perturbations, and can play crucial roles in the regulation of biological activity. A new solution NMR method has been applied to monitor ligand-induced changes in hydrogen bond geometry in the chicken c-Src SH3 domain. The structural response of this domain to ligand binding has been investigated by measuring trans-hydrogen bond (15)N-(13)C’ scalar couplings in the free state and when bound to the high affinity class I ligand RLP2, containing residues RALPPLPRY. A comparison between hydrogen bonds in high resolution X-ray structures of this domain and those observed via (h3)J(NC’) couplings in solution shows remarkable agreement. Two backbone-to-side-chain hydrogen bonds are observed in solution, and each appears to play a role in stabilization of loop structure. Reproducible ligand-induced changes in trans-hydrogen bond scalar couplings are observed across the domain that translate into changes in hydrogen bond length ranging between 0.02 to 0.12 A. The observed changes can be rationalized by an induced fit mechanism in which hydrogen bonds across the protein participate in a compensatory response to forces imparted at the protein-ligand interface. Upon ligand binding, mutual intercalation of the two Leu-Pro segments of the ligand between three aromatic side-chains protruding from the SH3 surface wedges apart secondary structural elements within the SH3 domain. This disruption is transmitted in a domino-like effect across the domain through networks of hydrogen bonded peptide planes. The unprecedented resolution obtained demonstrates the ability to characterize subtle structural rearrangements within a protein upon perturbation, and represents a new step in the endeavor to understand how hydrogen bonds contribute to the stabilization and function of biological macromolecules.