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Tight Turns of Outer Membrane Proteins: An Analysis of Sequence, Structure, and Hydrogen Bonding

Franklin, Meghan Whitney, Slusky, Joanna S.G.
Journal of molecular biology 2018 v.430 no.18 pp. 3251-3265
enzyme activity, hydrogen bonding, outer membrane proteins, prediction
As a structural class, tight turns can control molecular recognition, enzymatic activity, and nucleation of folding. They have been extensively characterized in soluble proteins but have not been characterized in outer membrane proteins (OMPs), where they also support critical functions. We clustered the 4 to 6 residue tight turns of 110 OMPs to characterize the phi/psi angles, sequence, and hydrogen bonding of these structures. We find significant differences between reports of soluble protein tight turns and OMP tight turns. Since OMP strands are less twisted than soluble strands, they favor different turn structures types. Moreover, the membrane localization of OMPs yields different sequence hallmarks for their tight turns relative to soluble protein turns. We also characterize the differences in phi/psi angles, sequence, and hydrogen bonding between OMP extracellular loops and OMP periplasmic turns. As previously noted, the extracellular loops tend to be much longer than the periplasmic turns. We find that this difference in length is due to the broader distribution of lengths of the extracellular loops not a large difference in the median length. Extracellular loops also tend to have more charged residues as predicted by the charge-out rule. Finally, in all OMP tight turns, hydrogen bonding between the side chain and backbone 2 to 4 residues away from that side chain plays an important role. These bonds preferentially use an Asp, Asn, Ser, or Thr residue in a beta or pro phi/psi conformation. We anticipate that this study will be applicable to future design and structure prediction of OMPs.