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Metalation of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mutant Glycine 37 to Arginine Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) Apoprotein Restores Its Structural and Dynamical Properties in Solution to Those of Metalated Wild-Type SOD1

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journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2007, 00:00 by Lucia Banci, Ivano Bertini, Nicola D'Amelio, Elisa Libralesso, Paola Turano, Joan Selverstone Valentine
The G37R copper−zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is one of the many mutant SOD1 proteins known to cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by an unknown mechanism. This particular mutation occurs in the β barrel plug, a region proposed to be critical for the structural stability of the protein. The behavior of G37R asSOD1 was studied in solution where it was observed that, when the protein is fully metalated, its global structure, mobility, and stability are virtually indistinguishable from those of the nonmutated protein. By contrast, although the presence of the G37R mutation does not result in a substantial change of the overall structure of the metal-free apoprotein in solution, it does affect the key conformational features of the β-barrel plug such that (i) apo G37R asSOD1 melts at a temperature approximately 10 °C lower than apo asSOD1, (ii) it aggregates more rapidly than apo asSOD1, and (iii) interaction with trifluoroethanol (TFE) can deform it into a structure with a much higher degree of α-helical content. The increased plasticity of the apo G37R asSOD1 mutant protein is likely responsible for its enhanced tendency to aggregate in concentrated solutions. These results suggest further that it is the metal-free apo forms of the mutant SOD1 protein that are the agents of its toxicity.