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The determinants of the oligomeric structure in Hsp16.5 are encoded in the alpha-crystallin domain.


Koteiche HAHanane A , Mchaourab HS Hassane S . FEBS letters. 2002 5 22; 519(1-3). 16-22


The determinants of the oligomeric assembly of Hsp16.5, a small heat-shock protein (sHSP) from Methanococcus jannaschii, were explored via site-directed truncation and site-directed spin labeling. For this purpose, subunit contacts around the two-, three- and four-fold symmetry axes were fingerprinted using patterns of proximities between nitroxide spin labels introduced at selected sites. The lack of change in this fingerprint in an N-terminal truncation of the protein demonstrates that the interactions are encoded in the alpha-crystallin domain. In contrast, the truncation of the N-terminal domain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Hsp16.3, a bacterial sHSP with an equally short N-terminal region, results in the dissociation of the oligomer to a trimer. These results, in conjunction with those from previous truncation studies in mammalian sHSP, suggest that as the alpha-crystallin domain evolved to encode a smaller basic unit than the overall oligomer, the control of the assembly and dynamics of the oligomeric structure became encoded in the N-terminal domain.