PMID: 8946853
Gonzalez L Jr, Brown RA, Richardson D, Alber T
Crystal structures of a single coiled-coil peptide in two oligomeric states reveal the basis for structural polymorphism.
Nat Struct Biol. 1996 Dec;3(12):1002-9.
Each protein sequence generally adopts a single native fold, but the sequence features that confer structural uniqueness are not well understood. To define the basis for structural heterogeneity, we determined the high resolution X-ray crystal structures of a single GCN4 leucine-zipper mutant (Asn 16 to aminobutyric acid) in both dimeric and trimeric coiled-coil conformations. The mutant sequence is accommodated in two distinct structures by forming similarly-shaped packing surfaces with different sets of atoms. The trimer structure, in comparison to a previously-characterized trimeric mutant with substitutions in eight core residues, shows that the twist of individual helices and the helix-helix crossing angles can vary significantly to produce the most favoured packing arrangement.