- Smallridge RS, Whiteman P, Werner JM, Campbell ID, Handford PA, Downing AK
- Solution structure and dynamics of a calcium binding epidermal growth factor-like domain pair from the neonatal region of human fibrillin-1.
- J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 4;278(14):12199-206. Epub 2003 Jan 2.
- Fibrillin-1 is a mosaic protein mainly composed of 43 calcium binding epidermal growth factor-like (cbEGF) domains arranged as multiple, tandem repeats. Mutations within the fibrillin-1 gene cause Marfan syndrome (MFS), a heritable disease of connective tissue. More than 60% of MFS-causing mutations identified are localized to cbEGFs, emphasizing that the native properties of these domains are critical for fibrillin-1 function. The cbEGF12-13 domain pair is within the longest run of cbEGFs, and many mutations that cluster in this region are associated with severe, neonatal MFS. The NMR solution structure of Ca(2+)-loaded cbEGF12-13 exhibits a near-linear, rod-like arrangement of domains. This observation supports the hypothesis that all fibrillin-1 (cb)EGF-cbEGF pairs, characterized by a single interdomain linker residue, possess this rod-like structure. The domain arrangement of cbEGF12-13 is stabilized by additional interdomain packing interactions to those observed for cbEGF32-33, which may help to explain the previously reported higher calcium binding affinity of cbEGF13. Based on this structure, a model of cbEGF11-15 that encompasses all known neonatal MFS missense mutations has highlighted a potential binding region. Backbone dynamics data confirm the extended structure of cbEGF12-13 and lend support to the hypothesis that a correlation exists between backbone flexibility and cbEGF domain calcium affinity. These results provide important insight into the potential consequences of MFS-associated mutations for the assembly and biomechanical properties of connective tissue microfibrils.