Παρασκευή, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Limited proteolysis as a tool to probe the tertiary conformation of dysferlin and structural consequences of patient missense variant L344P [Molecular Biophysics]

Dysferlin is a large transmembrane protein that plays a key role in cell membrane repair and underlies a recessive form of inherited muscular dystrophy. Dysferlinopathy is characterized by absence or marked reduction of dysferlin protein with 43% of reported pathogenic variants being missense variants that span the length of the dysferlin protein. The unique structure of dysferlin, with seven tandem C2 domains separated by linkers, suggests dysferlin may dynamically associate with phospholipid membranes in response to Ca2+ signaling. However, the overall conformation of the dysferlin protein is uncharacterized. To dissect the structural architecture of dysferlin, we have applied the method of limited proteolysis, which allows nonspecific digestion of unfolded peptides by trypsin. Using five antibodies spanning the dysferlin protein, we identified a highly reproducible jigsaw map of dysferlin fragments protected from digestion. Our data infer a modular architecture of four tertiary domains: 1) C2A, which is readily removed as a solo domain; 2) midregion C2B-C2C-Fer-DysF, commonly excised as an intact module, with subdigestion to different fragments suggesting several dynamic folding options; 3) C-terminal four-C2 domain module; and 4) calpain-cleaved mini-dysferlinC72, which is particularly resistant to proteolysis. Importantly, we reveal a patient missense variant, L344P, that largely escapes proteasomal surveillance and shows subtle but clear changes in tertiary conformation. Accompanying evidence from immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry using antibodies with conformationally sensitive epitopes supports proteolysis data. Collectively, we provide insight into the structural topology of dysferlin and show how a single missense mutation within dysferlin can exert local changes in tertiary conformation.

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