NMR Studies of the Dynamics of High-Spin Nitrophorins: Comparative Studies of NP4 and NP2 at Close to Physiological pH
journal contributionposted on 17.12.2015, 07:01 by Robert E. Berry, Dhanasekaran Muthu, Fei Yang, F. Ann Walker
The β-barrel nitrophorin (NP) heme proteins are found in the saliva of the blood-sucking insect Rhodnius prolixus, which synthesizes and stores nitric oxide (NO) in the salivary glands. NO is bound to iron of the NPs and is released by dilution and an increase in pH when the insect spits its saliva into the tissues of a victim, to aid in obtaining a blood meal. In the adult insect, there are four nitrophorins, NP1–NP4, which have sequence similarities in two pairs, NP1 and NP4 (90% identical) and NP2 and NP3 (80% identical). The available crystal structures of NP4 have been used to propose that pH-dependent changes in the conformation of two loops between adjacent β-strands at the front opening of the protein, the A–B and G–H loops, determine the rate of NO release. At pH 7.3, NP4 releases NO 17 times faster than NP2 does. In this work, the aqua complexes of NP4 and NP2 have been investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation measurements to probe the pico- to nanosecond and micro- to millisecond time scale motions at two pH values, 6.5 and 7.3. It is found that NP4-OH2 is fairly rigid and only residues in the loop regions show dynamics at pH 6.5; at pH 7.3, much more dynamics of the loops and most of the β-strands are observed while the α-helices remain fairly rigid. In comparison, NP2-OH2 shows much less dynamics, albeit somewhat more than that of the previously reported NP2-NO complex [Muthu, D., Berry, R. E., Zhang, H., and Walker, F. A. (2013) Biochemistry 52, 7910–7925]. The reasons for this major difference between NP4 and NP2 are discussed.