The three-dimensional structure of a synthetic fragment of human apolipoprotein CII (apo-CII) in 35%, 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFP) has been determined on the basis of distance and intensity constraints derived from two-dimensional proton nuclear magnetic resonance measurements. The NOE crosspeak build-up rates were converted to distance constraints which were used in the distance geometry program DI-ANA. A set of one hundred structures were generated and of these ten structures were used in molecular dynamics simulations using the program XPLOR. This program enabled a direct minimization between the difference of the two-dimensional NOE intensities and those calculated from the full relaxation matrix. In this way spin diffusion is fully taken into account, which can be seen from the considerable improvement of the R-factor after the relaxation matrix refinement. These calculations show that this fragment, which corresponds to the carboxy terminal 30 amino acids of intact apo-CII and which retains its ability to activate lipoprotein lipase, is essentially flexible, but has three defined secondary structural elements. The most significant one is an alpha-helix between residues 67 and 74. The following three residues adopt a turn-like structure. Another turn of alpha-helix is seen between residues 56 and 59. The effect of the solvent system on the secondary structure was studied by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The results show that the mixed aqueous 35% HFP solvent induces secondary structure of a very similar nature to the one induced by sodium dodecyl sulphate.
1993. Vol. 22, no 5