Lipid binding protein response to a bile acid library: a combined NMR and statistical approach
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Primary bile acids, differing in hydroxylation pattern, are synthesized from cholesterol in the liver and, once formed, can undergo extensive enzyme-catalysed glycine/taurine conjugation, giving rise to a complex mixture, the bile acid pool. Composition and concentration of the bile acid pool may be altered in diseases, posing a general question on the response of the carrier (bile acid binding protein) to the binding of ligands with different hydrophobic and steric profiles. A collection of NMR experiments (H/D exchange, HET-SOFAST, ePHOGSY NOESY/ROESY and (15) N relaxation measurements) was thus performed on apo and five different holo proteins, to monitor the binding pocket accessibility and dynamics. The ensemble of obtained data could be rationalized by a statistical approach, based on chemical shift covariance analysis, in terms of residue-specific correlations and collective protein response to ligand binding. The results indicate that the same residues are influenced by diverse chemical stresses: ligand binding always induces silencing of motions at the protein portal with a concomitant conformational rearrangement of a network of residues, located at the protein anti-portal region. This network of amino acids, which do not belong to the binding site, forms a contiguous surface, sensing the presence of the bound lipids, with a signalling role in switching protein-membrane interactions on and off.
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