Solution structure of a human cystatin A variant, cystatin A2-98 M65L, by NMR spectroscopy. A possible role of the interactions between the N- and C-termini to maintain the inhibitory active form of cystatin A

Biochemistry. 1995 Nov 14;34(45):14637-48. doi: 10.1021/bi00045a004.


The solution structure of a human cystatin A variant, cystatin A2-98 M65L, which maintains the full inhibitory activity of the wild-type protein, was determined at pH 3.8 by sD/3D heteronuclear double- and triple-resonance NMR spectroscopy. The structure is based on a total of 1343 experimental restraints, comprising 1139 distance, 154 phi and chi 1 torsion angle restraints, and 50 distance constraints for 25 backbone hydrogen bonds. A total of 15 structures was calculated using the YASAP protocol with X-PLOR, and the atomic rms distribution about the mean coordinate positions for residues 8-93 was 0.55 +/- 0.10 A for the backbone atoms and 1.05 +/- 0.11 A for all heavy atoms. The structure consists of five antiparallel beta-sheets and two short alpha-helices. Comparison with the X-ray structure of cystatin B in the papain complex shows that the conformation of the first binding loop is quite similar to that of cystatin A, with an rms deviation of 0.78 A for the backbone atoms in the 43-53 region (cystatin A numbering). The second binding loop, however, is significantly different in the two structures, with an rms deviation greater than 2 A. There are some other significant differences, especially for the N-terminal and alpha-helix regions. The overall structure of cystatin A is also compared with the recently reported NMR structure of the wild-type cystatin A (stefin A) at pH 5.5 (Martin et al., 1995) and reveals the following features. that differ in our structure from the previous one: (1) the N-terminal segment, which was unstructured in the previous report, folds over in close vicinity to the C-terminus, as revealed by the distinctive NOEs between those segments; (2) two discrete short alpha-helices linked by a type II reverse turn were found, instead of the continuous single alpha-helix with a slight kink shown in the previous structure; (3) the second binding loop, which was not well converged in the previous study at pH 5.5, is determined very well in our structure. The effect of the N-terminal truncation on the cystatin A structure was examined by comparing the 1H-15N HSQC spectrum of cystatin A2-98 with that of the cystatin A5-98 variant, which lacks the anti-papain activity, revealing significant chemical shift differences in the residual N-terminal segment and the first binding loop, together with small shifts in the other parts.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Computer Graphics
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Cystatin B
  • Cystatins / chemistry*
  • Cystatins / genetics
  • Cystatins / metabolism
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Papain / chemistry
  • Papain / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Secondary


  • CSTB protein, human
  • Cystatins
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Cystatin B
  • Papain