Ca2+-induced linker transformation leads to a compact and rigid collagen-binding domain of Clostridium histolyticum collagenase

by Philominathan, Sagaya T. L.; Matsushita, Osamu; Gensure, Robert; Sakon, Joshua

Clostridium histolyticum collagenase is responsible for extensive tissue destruction in gas gangrene, and its activity is enhanced by calcium ions. The collagen-binding domain is the minimal segment of the enzyme required for binding to insoluble collagen fibrils and for subsequent collagenolysis. The collagen-binding domain is joined to another binding module by a conserved 14-amino-acid linker. The linker undergoes secondary structural transformation from an alpha-helix to a beta-strand and forms a non-prolyl cis-peptide in the presence of calcium ions. In this study, various biophysical methods were utilized to better understand the structure and functional role of the novel calcium-activated linker. Two Ca2+ ions bind cooperatively with macroscopic association constants of K-1 = 5.01 x 10(5) M-1 and K-2 = 2.28 x 10(5) M-1. The chelation of the second calcium ion is enthalpically unfavorable, which could be a result of isomerization of the nonprolyl cis-peptide. The holo protein is more stable than the apo protein against thermal denaturation (Delta T-m similar to 20 degrees C) and chemical denaturation (Delta Delta G(H2O) similar to 3 kcal.mol(-1) for urea or guanidine HCl denaturation and Delta 20% v/v in 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol). The compact holo collagen-binding domain is more resistant to proteolytic digestion than the apo collagen-binding domain. The orientation of the linker appears to play a crucial role in the stability and dynamics of the collagen-binding domain.

FEBS Journal
Start Page
1742-4658; 1742-464X