Parvalbumins (PV) are calcium-binding proteins, all sharing the common helix-loop-helix (EF-hand) motif. This motif contains a central twelve-residue Ca2+-binding loop with the flanking helices positioned roughly perpendicular to each other. The precise role of these coordination residues has been the subject of intense studies. In this work, we focus on the coordination position 5 in the CD Ca2+-binding site of silver hake parvalbumin isoform B (SHPV-B). The most common residue at site 5 of calcium-binding loop in canonical EF-hands is Asp [B.J. Marsden, G.S. Shaw, B.D. Sykes, Biochem. Cell Biol. 68 (1990) 587-601], but in the CD site of PV, this position is almost always serine (Ser). The substitution of Ser with Asp will add the 5th carboxylate residue in the CD coordination sphere. However, as predicted by the acid pair hypothesis, the Ca2+-binding affinity would be maximized in an EF-hand motif that has four carboxylate ligands paired along the ±x, and ±z-axes [R.E. Reid, R.S. Hodges, J. Theor. Biol. 84 (1980) 401-444]. Molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations were employed to investigate the influence of Ser to Asp mutation at position 5 on calcium-binding affinity. We found that the Asp variant exhibited remarkable stability during the entire molecular dynamics simulation, with not only the retention of the Ca2+-binding site, but also increased compactness in the coordination sphere. The S55D fragment also accommodated Ca2+well. We conclude that the reason why Asp which is the most common residue at site 5 of calcium-binding loop in canonical EF-hands has never been identified at this position experimentally for PVs might be related to its physiological functions. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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