Nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDK) is a housekeeping enzyme that plays key roles in nucleotide recycling and homeostasis in trypanosomatids. Moreover, it is secreted by the intracellular parasite Leishmania to modulate the host response. These functions make NDK an attractive target for drug design and for studies aiming at a better understanding of the mechanisms mediating host–pathogen interactions. Here, we report the crystal structures of three mutants of the NDK from Leishmania major (LmNDK) that affects the stability of the hexameric biological assembly including P95S, Δ5Ct (lacking the last five residues) and the double mutant P100S/Δ5Ct. Although P95S and Δ5Ct variants conserve the hexameric structure of the wild-type protein, the double mutant becomes a dimer as shown by in solution studies. Free energy calculation of dimer–dimer interfaces and enzymatic assays indicate that P95S, Δ5Ct and P100S/Δ5Ct mutations progressively decrease the hexamer stability and enzyme activity. These results demonstrate that the mutated regions play a role in protein function through stabilizing the quaternary arrangement.
Journal of Structural Biology – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2015
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