Ni(II), Hg(II), and Pb(II) Coordination in the Prokaryotic Zinc-Finger Ros87
Valeria Sivo, Gianluca D’Abrosca, Ilaria Baglivo, Rosa Iacovino, Paolo V. Pedone, Roberto Fattorusso, Luigi Russo, Gaetano Malgieri, Carla Isernia
Zinc ion binding is a principal event in the achievement of the correct fold in classical zinc finger domains since the motif is largely unfolded in the absence of metal. In the case of a prokaryotic zinc finger, the larger βββαα domain contributes to the folding mechanism with a larger hydrophobic core. For these reasons, following the great amount of attention devoted to unveiling the effect of xenobiotic metal ion replacement in zinc fingers and in zinc-containing proteins in general, the prokaryotic zinc finger domain appears to be an interesting model for studying metal ion interaction with metalloproteins. Here, we explore the binding of Ni(II), Hg(II), and Pb(II) to Ros87, the DNA binding domain of the prokaryotic zinc finger protein Ros. We measured Ros87–metal ion dissociation constants and monitored the effects on the structure and function of the domain. Interestingly, we found that the protein folds in the presence of Ni(II) with important structural perturbations, while in the presence of Pb(II) and Hg(II) it does not appear to be significantly folded. Accordingly, an overall strong reduction in the DNA binding capability is observed for all of the examined proteins. Our data integrate and complement the information collected in the past few years concerning the functional and structural effects of metal ion substitution in classical zinc fingers in order to contribute to a better comprehension of the toxicity of these metals in biological systems.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Protein folding, Ligand binding, Chemical stability, Inorganic chemistry, Biochemistry