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Autore F.,Kings College London | Pfuhl M.,Kings College London | Quan X.,Kings College London | Williams A.,Kings College London | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Nesprin-1 and nesprin-2 are nuclear envelope (NE) proteins characterized by a common structure of an SR (spectrin repeat) rod domain and a C-terminal transmembrane KASH [Klarsicht-ANC-Syne-homology] domain and display N-terminal actin-binding CH (calponin homology) domains. Mutations in these proteins have been described in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and attributed to disruptions of interactions at the NE with nesprins binding partners, lamin A/C and emerin. Evolutionary analysis of the rod domains of the nesprins has shown that they are almost entirely composed of unbroken SR-like structures. We present a bioinformatical approach to accurate definition of the boundaries of each SR by comparison with canonical SR structures, allowing for a large-scale homology modelling of the 74 nesprin-1 and 56 nesprin-2 SRs. The exposed and evolutionary conserved residues identify important pbs for protein-protein interactions that can guide tailored binding experiments. Most importantly, the bioinformatics analyses and the 3D models have been central to the design of selected constructs for protein expression. 1D NMR and CD spectra have been performed of the expressed SRs, showing a folded, stable, high content α-helical structure, typical of SRs. Molecular Dynamics simulations have been performed to study the structural and elastic properties of consecutive SRs, revealing insights in the mechanical properties adopted by these modules in the cell. © 2013 Autore et al. Source

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