Eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) is a highly stable, cytotoxic ribonuclease with the ability to enter and disrupt membranes that participates in innate immune defense against parasites but also kills human cells. We have used NMR spectroscopy to characterize the binding of ECP to membrane and heparin mimetics at a residue level. We believe we have identified three Arg-rich surface loops and Trp35 as crucial for membrane binding. Importantly, we have provided evidence that the interaction surface of ECP with heparin mimetics is extended with respect to that previously described (fragment 34-38). We believe we have identified new sites involved in the interaction for the first time, and shown that the N-terminal α-helix, the third loop, and the first and last β-strands are key for heparin binding. We have also shown that a biologically active ECP N-terminal fragment comprising the first 45 residues (ECP1-45) retains the capacity to bind membrane and heparin mimetics, thus neither the ECP tertiary structure nor its high conformational stability are required for cytotoxicity. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jun 2010|