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The local structure within an 8-A radius around residue 45 of a recombinant F45W variant of human ubiquitin has been determined using 67 interproton distance restraints measured by two-dimensional proton NMR. Proton chemical shift evidence indicates that structural perturbations due to the F45W mutation are minimal and limited to the immediate vicinity of the site of mutation. Simulated annealing implemented with stochastic boundary molecular dynamics was applied to refine the structure of Trp 45 and 10 neighboring residues. The stochastic boundary method allowed the entire protein to be reassembled from the refined coordinates and the outlying unrefined coordinates with little distortion at the boundary. Refinement began with four low-energy indole ring orientations of F45W-substituted wild-type (WT) ubiquitin crystal coordinates. Distance restraints were derived from mostly long-range NOE cross peaks with 51 restraints involving the Trp 45 indole ring. Tandem refinements of 64 structures were done using either (1) upper and lower bounds derived from qualitative inspection of NOE crosspeak intensities or (2) quantitative analysis of cross-peak heights using the program MARDIGRAS. Though similar to those based on qualitative restraint, structures obtained using quantitative NOE analysis were superior in terms of precision and accuracy as measured by back-calculated sixth-root R factors. The six-membered portion of the indole ring is nearly coincident with the phenyl ring of the WT and the indole NH is exposed to solvent. Accommodation of the larger ring is accompanied by small perturbations in the backbone and a 120 degrees rotation of the chi 2 dihedral angle of Leu 50.

Original publication




Journal article


Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society

Publication Date





973 - 982


Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.


Humans, Tryptophan, Recombinant Proteins, Ubiquitins, Crystallography, X-Ray, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Protein Conformation, Protein Structure, Secondary, Models, Molecular, Computer Graphics, Software