Robyn Fairman

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Ligand-induced phosphorylation of the receptor-regulated Smads (R-Smads) is essential in the receptor Ser/Thr kinase-mediated TGF-beta signaling. The crystal structure of a phosphorylated Smad2, at 1.8 A resolution, reveals the formation of a homotrimer mediated by the C-terminal phosphoserine (pSer) residues. The pSer binding surface on the MH2 domain,(More)
Smad proteins mediate transforming growth factor beta signaling from the cell membrane to the nucleus. Upon phosphorylation by the activated receptor kinases, the receptor-regulated Smad, such as Smad2, forms a heterocomplex with the co-mediator Smad, Smad4. This heterocomplex is then translocated into the nucleus, where it associates with other(More)
Intracellular trafficking depends on the docking and fusion of transport vesicles with cellular membranes. Central to docking and fusion is the pairing of SNARE proteins (soluble NSF attachment protein receptors) associated with the vesicle and target membranes (v- and t-SNAREs, respectively). Here, the X-ray structure of an N-terminal conserved domain of(More)
The arginine repressor of Escherichia coli is a classical feedback regulator, signalling the availability of L-arginine inside the cell. It differs from most other bacterial repressors in functioning as a hexamer, but structural details have been lacking and its shares no clear sequence homologies with other transcriptional regulators. Analysis of the amino(More)
The ribosomal protein L9 has an unusual structure comprising two compact globular domains connected by a 34 residue alpha-helix. The middle 17 residues of the helix are exposed to solvent while the first seven pack against and form part of the N-terminal domain, and the last ten form part of the C-terminal domain. Here we report results which show that a(More)
A class of regulators of eukaryotic gene expression contains a conserved amino acid sequence responsible for protein oligomerization and binding to DNA. This structure consists of an arginine- and lysine-rich basic region followed by a helix-loop-helix motif, which together mediate specific binding to DNA. Peptides were prepared that span this motif in the(More)
Continuum methods were used to calculate the electrostatic contributions of charged and polar side chains to the overall stability of a small 41-residue helical protein, the peripheral subunit-binding domain. The results of these calculations suggest several residues that are destabilizing, relative to hydrophobic isosteres. One position was chosen to test(More)
The calcium binding protein alpha-lactalbumin folds via a molten globule intermediate. Calcium does not bind strongly to the unfolded protein or the molten globule, but does bind to the transition state between the molten globule and the native protein. Of interest are the structures formed in the transition state that promote calcium binding. To study the(More)
The structural features required for the formation of two- versus three-stranded coiled coils have been explored using de novo protein design. Peptides with leucine at the 'a' and 'd' positions of a coiled-coil (general sequence: Leua Xaab Xaac Leud Glue Xaaf Lysg) exist in a non-cooperative equilibrium between unstructured monomers and helical dimers and(More)
The study and successful design of coiled-coil protein structural motifs have provided much insight into the rules governing protein folding and stability. In this work we use a thermodynamic approach to quantitate the rules that govern the specific oligomerization of coiled coils. We have designed a highly stable trimeric coiled coil by placing valine(More)