Contribution of hydrophobic interactions to the folding and fibrillation of histone H1 and its carboxy-terminal domain

Alicia Roque, Nuria Teruel, Rita López, Inma Ponte, Pedro Suau

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Histone H1 is involved in chromatin structure and gene regulation. H1 also performs functions outside cell nuclei, which may depend on its properties as a lipid-binding protein. The H1 CTD behaves as an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) with coupled binding and folding. Here, we used neutral detergents and anionic SDS to study the contribution of hydrophobic interactions to the folding of the CTD. In the presence of neutral detergents, the CTD folded with proportions of secondary structure motifs similar to those observed in the DNA complexes. These results identify a folding pathway for the CTD based on hydrophobic interactions, and independent of charge compensation. The CTD is phosphorylated to different extents by cyclin-dependent kinases. The general effect of phosphorylation in the presence of detergents was a decrease in the α-helix content and an increase in that of the β-structure. The greatest effect was observed in the fully phosphorylated CTD (three phosphate groups) in the presence of anionic SDS (7:1, detergent/CTD molar ratio); in these conditions, the CTD became an all-β protein, with 83% β-structure and no α-helix. The CTD in all-β conformation readily formed ribbon-like fibers. The entire H1 also formed fibers when fully phosphorylated in the CTD. Fibers were of the amyloid type, as judged by strong birefringence in the presence of Congo red and thioflavin fluorescence enhancement. Amyloid fiber formation was only observed in SDS, suggesting that it requires the joint effects of partial charge neutralization and hydrophobic interactions, together with the all-β potential provided by full phosphorylation. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Volume180
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Amyloid fibers
  • Carboxy-terminal domain
  • Folding
  • Histone H1
  • Hydrophobic interactions
  • Phosphorylation

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