Determination of the three-dimensional solution structure of Raphanus sativus antifungal protein 1 by 1H NMR

F Fant, W Vranken, W Broekaert, F Borremans

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Raphanus sativus Antifungal Protein 1 (Rs-AFP1) is a 51 amino acid residue plant defensin isolated from radish (Raphanus sativus L.) seeds. The three-dimensional structure in aqueous solution has been determined from two-dimensional 1H NMR data recorded at 500 MHz using the DIANA/REDAC calculation protocols. Experimental constraints consisted of 787 interproton distances extracted from NOE cross-peaks, 89 torsional constraints from 106 vicinal interproton coupling constants and 32 stereospecific assignments of prochiral protons. Further refinement by simulated annealing resulted in a set of 20 structures having pairwise root-mean-square differences of 1.35(+/- 0.35) A over the backbone heavy atoms and 2.11(+/- 0.46) A over all heavy atoms. The molecule adopts a compact globular fold comprising an alpha-helix from Asn18 till Leu28 and a triple-stranded beta-sheet (beta 1 = Lys2-Arg6, beta 2 = His33-Tyr38 and beta 3 = His43-Pro50). The central strand of this beta-sheet is connected by two disulfide bridges (Cys21-Cys45 and Cys25-Cys47) to the alpha-helix. The connection between beta-strand 2 and 3 is formed by a type VIa beta-turn. Even the loop (Pro7 to Asn17) between beta-strand 1 and the alpha-helix is relatively well defined. The structure of Raphanus sativus Antifungal Protein 1 features all the characteristics of the "cysteine stabilized alpha beta motif". A comparison of the complete structure and of the regions important for interaction with the fungal receptor according to a mutational study, is made with the structure of gamma-thionin, a plant defensin that has no antifungal activity. It is concluded that this interaction is both electrostatic and specific, and some possible scenarios for the mode of action are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-270
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Defensins
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Conformation
  • Seeds
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Vegetables

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