Solution structure of a naturally-occurring zinc-peptide complex demonstrates that the N-terminal zinc-binding module of the Lasp-1 LIM domain is an independent folding unit

Biochemistry. 1996 Oct 1;35(39):12723-32. doi: 10.1021/bi961149j.


The three-dimensional solution structure of the 1:1 complex between the synthetic peptide ZF-1 and zinc was determined by 1H NMR spectroscopy. The peptide, initially isolated from pig intestines, is identical in sequence to the 30 N-terminal amino acid residues of the human protein Lasp-1 belonging to the LIM domain protein family. The final set of 20 energy-refined NMR conformers has an average rmsd relative to the mean structure of 0.55 A for the backbone atoms of residues 3-30. Calculations without zinc atom constraints unambiguously identified Cys 5, Cys 8, His 26, and Cys 29 as the zinc-coordinating residues. LIM domains consist of two sequential zinc-binding modules and the NMR structure of the ZF-1-zinc complex is the first example of a structure of an isolated module. Comparison with the known structures of the N-terminal zinc-binding modules of both the second LIM domain of chicken CRP and rat CRIP with which ZF-1 shares 50% and 43% sequence identity, respectively, supports the notion that the zinc-binding modules of the LIM domain have a conserved structural motif and identifies local regions of structural diversity. The similarities include conserved zinc-coordinating residues, a rubredoxin knuckle involving Cys 5 and Cys 8, and the coordination of the zinc ion by histidine N delta in contrast to the more usual coordination by N epsilon observed for other zinc-finger domains. The present structure determination of the ZF-1-zinc complex establishes the N-terminal half of a LIM domain as an independent folding unit. The structural similarities of N- and C-terminal zinc-binding modules of the LIM domains, despite limited sequence identity, lead to the proposal of a single zinc-binding motif in LIM domains. The coordinates are available from the Brookhaven protein data bank, entry 1ZFO.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Protein Folding
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Swine
  • Zinc / chemistry*
  • Zinc / metabolism
  • Zinc Fingers*
  • src Homology Domains


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • LASP1 protein, human
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteins
  • ZF-1 protein, Sus scrofa
  • Zinc