Relevance of partially structured states in the non-classical secretion of acidic fibroblast growth factor

by Rajalingam, D.; Graziani, I.; Prudovsky, I.; Yu, C.; Kumar, T. K. S.

Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) is a signal peptide-less protein that is secreted into the extracellular compartment as part of a multiprotein release complex, consisting of aFGF, S100A13 (a calcium binding protein), and a 40 kDa (p40) form of synaptotagmin (Syt1), a protein that participates in the docking of a variety of secretory vesicles. p40 Syt1, and specifically its C2A domain, is believed to play a major role in the non-classical secretion of the aFGF release complex mediated by the interaction of aFGF and p40 Syt1 with the phospholipids of the cell membrane inner leaflet. In the present study, we investigate the structural characteristics of aFGF and the C2A domain of p40 Syt1 under acidic conditions, using a variety of biophysical techniques including multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. Urea-induced equilibrium unfolding (at pH 3.4) of both aFGF and the C2A domain are non-cooperative and proceed with the accumulation of stable intermediate states. 1-Anilino-8-napthalene sulfonate (ANS) binding and size-exclusion chromatography results suggest that both aFGF and the C2A domain exist as partially Structured states under acidic conditions (pH 3.4). Limited trypsin digestion analysis and H-1-N-15 chemical shift perturbation data reveal that the flexibility of certain portions of the protein backbone is increased in the partially structured state(s) of aFGF. The residues that are perturbed in the partially structured state(s) in aFGF are mostly located at the N- and C-terminal ends of the protein. In marked contrast, most of the interactions stabilizing the native secondary structure are preserved in the partially structured state of the C2A domain. Isothermal titration calorimetry data indicate that the binding affinity between aFGF and the C2A domain is significantly enhanced at pH 3.4. In addition, both aFGF and the C2A domain exhibit much higher lipid binding affinity in their partially structured states. The translocation of the multiprotein FGF release complex across the membrane appears to be facilitated by the formation of partially structured states of aFGF and the C2A domain of p40 Syt1.

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1520-4995; 0006-2960