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Structural Analysis of Uranyl Complexation by the EF‐Hand Motif of Calmodulin: Effect of Phosphorylation

Abstract : Better understanding of uranyl–protein interactions is a prerequisite to predict uranium chemical toxicity in cells. The EF‐hand motif of the calmodulin site I is about thousand times more affine for uranyl than for calcium, and threonine phosphorylation increases the uranyl affinity by two orders of magnitude at pH 7. In this study, we confront X‐ray absorption spectroscopy with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, time‐resolved laser‐induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS), and structural models obtained by molecular dynamics simulations to analyze the uranyl coordination in the native and phosphorylated calmodulin site I. For the native site I, extended X‐ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) data evidence a short U−Oeq distance, in addition to distances compatible with mono‐ and bidentate coordination by carboxylate groups. Further analysis of uranyl speciation by TRLFS and thorough investigation of the fluorescence decay kinetics strongly support the presence of a hydroxide uranyl ligand. For a phosphorylated site I, the EXAFS and FTIR data support a monodentate uranyl coordination by the phosphoryl group and strong interaction with mono‐ and bidentate carboxylate ligands. This study confirms the important role of a phosphoryl ligand in the stability of uranyl–protein interactions. By evidencing a hydroxide uranyl ligand in calmodulin site I, this study also highlights the possible role of less studied ligands as water or hydroxide ions in the stability of protein–uranyl complexes.
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Sandrine Sauge-Merle, Florian Brulfert, Romain Pardoux, Pier Lorenzo Solari, David Lemaire, et al.. Structural Analysis of Uranyl Complexation by the EF‐Hand Motif of Calmodulin: Effect of Phosphorylation. Chemistry - A European Journal, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2017, 23 (61), pp.15505 - 15517. ⟨10.1002/chem.201703484⟩. ⟨hal-01794613⟩