Role of the Acidic Tail of High Mobility Group Protein B1 (HMGB1) in Protein Stability and DNA Bending


High mobility group box (HMGB) proteins are abundant nonhistone proteins found in all eukaryotic nuclei and are capable of binding/bending DNA. The human HMGB1 is composed of two binding motifs, known as Boxes A and B, are L-shaped alpha-helix structures, followed by a random-coil acidic tail that consists of 30 Asp and Glu residues. This work aimed at evaluating the role of the acidic tail of human HMGB1 in protein stability and DNA interactions. For this purpose, we cloned, expressed and purified HMGB1 and its tailless form, HMGB1ΔC, in E. coli strain. Tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism (CD) experiments clearly showed an increase in protein stability promoted by the acidic tail under different conditions, such as the presence of the chemical denaturant guanidine hydrochloride (Gdn.HCl), high temperature and low pH. Folding intermediates found at low pH for both proteins were denatured only in the presence of chemical denaturant, thus showing a relatively high stability. The acidic tail did not alter the DNA-binding properties of the protein, although it enhanced the DNA bending capability from 76° (HMGB1ΔC) to 91° (HMGB1), as measured using the fluorescence resonance energy transfer technique. A model of DNA bending in vivo was proposed, which might help to explain the interaction of HMGB1 with DNA and other proteins, i.e., histones, and the role of that protein in chromatin remodeling.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079572

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@inproceedings{Belgrano2013RoleOT, title={Role of the Acidic Tail of High Mobility Group Protein B1 (HMGB1) in Protein Stability and DNA Bending}, author={Fabr{\'i}cio dos Santos Belgrano and Isabel Caetano de Abreu da Silva and Francisco Meirelles Bastos de Oliveira and Marcelo Rosado Fantapp{\'i}{\'e} and Ronaldo S Mohana-Borges}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2013} }