The Role of Basic Amino Acids in the Molecular Recognition of Hydroxyapatite by Statherin using Solid State NMR

Surf Sci. 2010 Aug 15;604(15-16):L39-L42. doi: 10.1016/j.susc.2010.02.026.


Organisms use proteins such as statherin to control the growth of hydroxyapatite (HAP), which is the principal component of teeth and bone. Though much emphasis has been placed on the acidic character of these proteins, the role of their basic amino acids is not well understood. In this work, solid state nuclear magnetic resonance was used to probe the interaction of the basic arginine side chains with the HAP surface. Statherin samples were individually labeled at each arginine site, and the distance to the surface was measured using the Rotational Echo DOuble Resonance (REDOR) technique. The results indicate a strong coupling between the R9 and R10 residues and the phosphorus atoms on the surface, with internuclear distances of 4.62 ± 0.29 Å and 4.53 ± 0.16 Å, respectively. Conversely, results also indicate weak coupling between R13 and the surface, suggesting this residue is more removed from the surface than R9 and R10. Combining these results with previous data, a new model for the molecular recognition of HAP by statherin is constructed.