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Effects of naturally occurring charged mutations on the structure, stability, and binding of the Pin1 WW domain

Qiao, Xiaoya, Liu, Ying, Luo, Liting, Chen, Lei, Zhao, Caixian, Ai, Xuanjun
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 v.487 pp. 470-476
Alzheimer disease, Cercopithecus aethiops, Macaca fascicularis, binding capacity, catalytic activity, models, mutants, mutation, neoplasms, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, peptidylprolyl isomerase, phosphopeptides, phosphorylation
Pin1 is a peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase, whose WW domain specifically recognizes the pSer/Thr-Pro motif. Pin1 is involved in multiple phosphorylation events that regulate the activities of various substrates, and Pin1 deregulation has been reported in various diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease. The WW domain of Pin1 has been used as a small model protein to investigate the folding mechanisms of the β-sheet structure by studying the effect of mutations or its naturally occurring variants. However, only a few studies have investigated the structure and binding of Pin1 WW mutants. In the present work, two naturally occurring Pin1 WW variants, namely, G20D and S16R, derived from the cynomolgus monkey and African green monkey, respectively, were selected to investigate the influence of charge mutation on the structure, stability, and binding properties of the Pin1 WW domain. Analysis using a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and chemical shift-based calculations revealed that the G20D and S16R mutants had high structural similarity to the wild-type Pin1 WW domain. However, the presence of a charge mutation significantly decreased the stability of the Pin1 WW domain. Both the wild-type and G20D forms of the Pin1 WW domain utilized a three-site mode to bind to a phosphorylated Tau peptide, pT231, whereas the S16R mutant binds to the pT231 peptide either in a non-specific manner or through a totally different binding mechanism. Correspondingly, the wild-type and two mutant Pin1 WW domains showed different binding affinities to the Tau phosphopeptide. Considering that the WW domain participates in the catalytic activity of the Pin1 isomerase, our study represents a novel approach for studying Pin1 function through the analysis of its naturally occurring mutants.