Structure and dynamics of hydrated statherin on hydroxyapatite as determined by solid-state NMR

Biochemistry. 2001 Dec 25;40(51):15451-5. doi: 10.1021/bi010864c.


Proteins directly control the nucleation and growth of biominerals, but the details of molecular recognition at the protein-biomineral interface remain poorly understood. The elucidation of recognition mechanisms at this interface may provide design principles for advanced materials development in medical and ceramic composite technologies. Here, we have used solid-state NMR techniques to provide the first high-resolution structural and dynamic characterization of a hydrated biomineralization protein, salivary statherin, adsorbed to its biologically relevant hydroxyapatite (HAP) surface. Backbone secondary structure for the N-terminal dodecyl region was determined using a combination of homonuclear and heteronuclear dipolar recoupling techniques. Both sets of experiments indicate the N-terminus is alpha-helical in character with the residues directly binding to the HAP being stabilized in the alpha-helical conformation by the presence of water. Dynamic NMR studies demonstrate that the highly anionic N-terminus is strongly adsorbed and immobilized on the HAP surface, while the middle and C-terminal regions of this domain are mobile and thus weakly interacting with the mineral surface. The direct binding footprint of statherin is thus localized to the negatively charged N-terminal pentapeptide sequence. Study of a site-directed mutant demonstrated that alteration of the only anionic side chain outside of this domain did not affect the dynamics of statherin on the HAP surface, suggesting that it does not play an important role in HAP binding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Durapatite* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides / chemistry*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thermodynamics
  • Water


  • Peptide Fragments
  • STATH protein, human
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides
  • Water
  • Durapatite