Scientific reports

A hydrophobic patch surrounding Trp154 in human neuroserpin controls the helix F dynamics with implications in inhibition and aggregation.

PMID 28230174


Neuroserpin (NS) mediated inhibition of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) is important for brain development, synapse formation and memory. Aberrations in helix F and β-sheet A movement during inhibition can directly lead to epilepsy or dementia. Conserved W154 residue in a hydrophobic patch between helix F and β-sheet A is ideally placed to control their movement during inhibition. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation on wild type (WT) NS and its two variants (W154A and W154P) demonstrated partial deformation in helix F and conformational differences in strands 1A and 2A only in W154P. A fluorescence and Circular Dichroism (CD) analysis with purified W154 variants revealed a significant red-shift and an increase in α-helical content in W154P as compared to W154A and WT NS. Kinetics of tPA inhibition showed a decline in association rates (ka) for W154A as compared to WT NS with indication of complex formation. Appearance of cleaved without complex formation in W154P indicates that the variant acts as substrate due to conformational misfolding around helix F. Both the variants however showed increased rate of aggregation as compared to WT NS. The hydrophobic patch identified in this study may have importance in helix F dynamics of NS.

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