Entropic stabilization of a deubiquitinase provides conformational plasticity and slow unfolding kinetics beneficial for functioning on the proteasome
Yun-Tzai Cloud Lee, Chia-Yun Chang, Szu-Yu Chen, Yun-Ru Pan, Meng-Ru Ho, Shang-Te Danny Hsu
Human ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolyase UCH-L5 is a topologically knotted deubiquitinase that is activated upon binding to the proteasome subunit Rpn13. The length of its intrinsically disordered cross-over loop is essential for substrate recognition. Here, we showed that the catalytic domain of UCH-L5 exhibits higher equilibrium folding stability with an unfolding rate on the scale of 10−8 s−1, over four orders of magnitudes slower than its paralogs, namely UCH-L1 and -L3, which have shorter cross-over loops. NMR relaxation dynamics analysis confirmed the intrinsic disorder of the cross-over loop. Hydrogen deuterium exchange analysis further revealed a positive correlation between the length of the cross-over loop and the degree of local fluctuations, despite UCH-L5 being thermodynamically and kinetically more stable than the shorter UCHs. Considering the role of UCH-L5 in removing K48-linked ubiquitin to prevent proteasomal degradation of ubiquitinated substrates, our findings offered mechanistic insights into the evolution of UCH-L5. Compared to its paralogs, it is entropically stabilized to withstand mechanical unfolding by the proteasome while maintaining structural plasticity. It can therefore accommodate a broad range of substrate geometries at the cost of unfavourable entropic loss.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Protein folding, Chemical stability, Protein denaturation, Thermodynamics, Biochemistry