Three-dimensional structure of echistatin and dynamics of the active site

Yuan Chen, Asif K. Suri, Dorothea Kominos, Gautam Sanyal, Adel M. Naylor, Steven M. Pitzenberger, Victor M. Garsky, Ronald M. Levy, Jean Baum

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6 Scopus citations


The snake venom protein echistatin contains the cell recognition sequence Arg-Gly-Asp and is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation. The three-dimensional structure of echistatin and the dynamics of the active RGD site are presented. A set of structures was determined using the Distance Geometry method and subsequently refined by Molecular Dynamics and energy minimization. Disulfide pairings are suggested, based on violations of experimental constraints. The structures satisfy 230 interresidue distance constraints, derived from nuclear Overhauser effect measurements, five hydrogen-bonding constraints, and 21 torsional constraints from vicinal spin-spin coupling constants. The segment from Gly5 to Cys20 and from Asp30 to Asn42 has a well-defined conformation and the Arg-Gly-Asp sequence, which adopts a turn-like structure, is located at the apex of a nine-residue loop connecting the two strands of a distorted β-sheet. The mobility of the Arg-Gly-Asp site has been quantitatively characterized by 15N relaxation measurements. The overall correlation time of echistatin was determined from fluorescence measurements, and was used in a model-free analysis to determine internal motional parameters. The active site has order parameters of 0.3-0.5, i.e., among the smallest values ever observed at the active site of a protein. Correlation of the flexible region of the protein as characterized by relaxation experiments and the NMR solution structures was made by calculating generalized order parameters from the ensemble of three-dimensional structures. The motion of the RGD site detected experimentally is more extensive than a simple RGD loop 'wagging' motional model, suggested by an examination of superposed solution structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-324
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of biomolecular NMR
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy


  • Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)
  • Dynamics
  • Echistatin
  • Structure


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