Aplysia attractin

Biophysical characterization and modeling of a water-borne pheromone

Catherine H. Schein, Gregg Thomas Nagle, Jason S. Page, Jonathan V. Sweedler, Yuan Xu, Sherry D. Painter, Werner Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Attractin, a 58-residue protein secreted by the mollusk Aplysia californica, stimulates sexually mature animals to approach egg cordons. Attractin from five different Aplysia species are ∼40% identical in sequence. Recombinant attractin, expressed in insect cells and purified by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), is active in a bioassay using A. brasiliana; its circular dichroism (CD) spectrum indicates a predominantly α-helical structure. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) characterization of proteolytic fragments identified disulfide bonds between the six conserved cysteines (I-VI, II-V, III-IV, where the Roman numeral indicates the order of occurrence in the primary sequence). Attractin has no significant similarity to any other sequence in the database. The protozoan Euplotes pheromones were selected by fold recognition as possible templates. These diverse proteins have three α-helices, with six cysteine residues disulfide-bonded in a different pattern from attractin. Model structures with good stereochemical parameters were prepared using the EXDIS/DIAMOD/FANTOM program suite and constraints based on sequence alignments with the Euplotes templates and the attractin disulfide bonds. A potential receptor-binding site is suggested based on these data. Future structural characterization of attractin will be needed to confirm these models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-472
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Fingerprint

Aplysia
Pheromones
Euplotes
Disulfides
Cysteine
Water
Sequence Alignment
Mollusca
Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Reverse-Phase Chromatography
Circular Dichroism
Biological Assay
Ovum
Insects
Proteins
Binding Sites
High Pressure Liquid Chromatography
Databases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

Aplysia attractin : Biophysical characterization and modeling of a water-borne pheromone. / Schein, Catherine H.; Nagle, Gregg Thomas; Page, Jason S.; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Xu, Yuan; Painter, Sherry D.; Braun, Werner.

In: Biophysical Journal, Vol. 81, No. 1, 01.01.2001, p. 463-472.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schein, Catherine H. ; Nagle, Gregg Thomas ; Page, Jason S. ; Sweedler, Jonathan V. ; Xu, Yuan ; Painter, Sherry D. ; Braun, Werner. / Aplysia attractin : Biophysical characterization and modeling of a water-borne pheromone. In: Biophysical Journal. 2001 ; Vol. 81, No. 1. pp. 463-472.
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