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Landon, C ; Thouzeau, C ; Labbe, H ; Bulet, P ; Vovelle, F

Solution structure of spheniscin, a ß-defensin from the penguin stomach

Journal of Biological Chemistry 279 (29) 30433-30439

par Administrateur - publié le

Abstract :

Recently two ß-defensins, named spheniscins, have been isolated from the stomach content of the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), which is capable of preserving food for several weeks during egg incubation (Thouzeau, C., Le Maho, Y., Froget, G., Sabatier, L., Le Bohec, C., Hoffmann, J.A., and Bulet, P. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 51053-51058). It has been proposed that, in combination with other antimicrobial peptides, spheniscins may be involved in this long term preservation of food in the bird’s stomach. To draw some structure/function features, the three-dimensional structure in aqueous solution of the most abundant spheniscin (Sphe-2) was determined by two-dimensional NMR and molecular modeling techniques. The overall fold of Sphe-2 includes a three-stranded antiparallel ß-sheet stabilized by three disulfide bridges with a pairing typical of ß-defensins. In addition, the N-terminal segment shows helical features on most structures. Sphe-2 is highly cationic, and its surface displays a hydrophobic patch.