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The role of side chain conformational flexibility in surface recognition by Tenebrio molitor antifreeze protein

By Margaret E. Daley and Brian D. Sykes


Two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to investigate the flexibility of the threonine side chains in the β-helical Tenebrio molitor antifreeze protein (TmAFP) at low temperatures. From measurement of the 3Jαβ 1H-1H scalar coupling constants, the χ1 angles and preferred rotamer populations can be calculated. It was determined that the threonines on the ice-binding face of the protein adopt a preferred rotameric conformation at near freezing temperatures, whereas the threonines not on the ice-binding face sample many rotameric states. This suggests that TmAFP maintains a preformed ice-binding conformation in solution, wherein the rigid array of threonines that form the AFP-ice interface matches the ice crystal lattice. A key factor in binding to the ice surface and inhibition of ice crystal growth appears to be the close surface-to-surface complementarity between the AFP and crystalline ice, and the lack of an entropic penalty associated with freezing out motions in a flexible ligand

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Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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