Intrinsically disordered proteins are found extensively in cell signaling pathways where they often are targets of posttranslational modifications e.g. phosphorylation. Such modifications can sometimes induce or disrupt secondary structure elements present in the modified protein. CD79a and CD79b are membrane-spanning, signal-transducing components of the B-cell receptor. The cytosolic domains of these proteins are intrinsically disordered and each has an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM). When an antigen binds to the receptor, conserved tyrosines located in the ITAMs are phosphorylated which initiate further downstream signaling. Here we use NMR spectroscopy to examine the secondary structure propensity of the cytosolic domains of CD79a and CD79b in vitro before and after phosphorylation. The phosphorylation patterns are identified through analysis of changes of backbone chemical shifts found for the affected tyrosines and neighboring residues. The number of the phosphorylated sites is confirmed by mass spectrometry. The secondary structure propensities are calculated using the method of intrinsic referencing, where the reference random coil chemical shifts are measured for the same protein under denaturing conditions. Our analysis revealed that CD79a and CD79b both have an overall propensity for a-helical structure that is greatest in the C-terminal region of the ITAM. Phosphorylation of CD79a caused a decrease in helical propensity in the C-terminal ITAM region. For CD79b, the opposite was observed and phosphorylation resulted in an increase of helical propensity in the C-terminal part. © 2014 Rosenlöw et al.
Rosenlöw, J., Isaksson, L., Mayzel, M., Lengqvist, J., & Orekhov, V. Y. (2014). Tyrosine phosphorylation within the intrinsically disordered cytosolic domains of the B-cell receptor: An NMR-based structural analysis. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096199