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Title: A solution state NMR study of the structure and ligand binding properties of the human C-type lectin DC-SIGNR
Author: Probert, Fay
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 7461
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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The protein DC-SIGNR (Dendritic-cell specific ICAM3 grabbing non-integrin related) is a C-type (calcium-dependent) lectin, which binds highly-branched mannose oligosaccharides. DC-SIGNR interacts with a range of deadly diseases via surface glycans on pathogenic glycoproteins, and the ability of DC-SIGNR to increase the rate of infection of viruses including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) makes the study of DC-SIGNR/oligosaccharide interactions very attractive. The research described in this thesis sought to gain insight into the calcium and ligand binding properties of the DC-SIGNR carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) in solution by utilising solution state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). A protocol for the production of uniformly 15N /13C labelled DC-SIGNR CRD was developed, allowing the acquisition of heteronuclear NMR experiments and the first assignment of the calcium-bound (holo) DC-SIGNR CRD to be reported. The assignment has allowed investigation of calcium and glycan binding, as well as the pH dependence of the DC-SIGNR CRD. The data presented in this thesis reveal that the DC-SIGNR CRD is highly dynamic in the calcium-free state, with the addition of calcium resulting in global conformational and dynamic changes throughout the CRD. While calcium binding hinders the protein dynamics (particularly in the calcium binding regions), a large degree of mobility remains. The evidence that ligands are released at low pH suggests that DC-SIGNR may act as an endocytic receptor. In addition to calcium binding, interactions of the DC-SIGNR CRD with a range of ligands were investigated. In particular, interactions with the oligosaccharide Man9GlcNAc (present on the HIV viral envelope) are described, representing the first direct study of the CRD interacting with a diseaseassociated ligand. The glycans employed in this study all bind to the primary calcium binding site, supporting previous crystal data. However, each glycan displays distinct patterns of chemical shift perturbations implying that they each have different, extended binding modes. Particularly striking is the difference between the disease-associated Man9GlcNAc ligand and the ligand present in a previously published crystal structure, (GlcNAc)2Man3. An investigation of the dynamics of the CRD in the holo form and bound to the ligand Man5 shows that the CRD is highly dynamic and that glycan binding further hinders, but does not abolish, the molecular motions. The dynamics data also suggests that a ligand-induced conformational change may occur and indicates potential new binding sites which are not present in any published crystal structures. The dynamic nature of the DC-SIGNR CRD may explain the wide range of ligand specificities and affinities of the C-type lectin scaffold and suggests that the study of the ligand binding properties and dynamics of proteins such as DC-SIGNR in solution is essential to further understanding of this class of proteins.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology