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Metal coordination in proteins

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Metals in proteins: correlation between the metal-ion type, coordination number and the amino-acid residues involved in the coordination.
Ivan Dokmanić, Mile Sikić, and Sanja Tomić.
Metal ions are constituents of many metalloproteins, in which they have either catalytic (metalloenzymes) or structural functions. In this work, the characteristics of various metals were studied (Cu, Zn, Mg, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cd and Ca in proteins with known crystal structure) as well as the specificity of their environments. The analysis was performed on two data sets: the set of protein structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) determined with resolution <1.5 A and the set of nonredundant protein structures from the PDB. The former was used to determine the distances between each metal ion and its electron donors and the latter was used to assess the preferred coordination numbers and common combinations of amino-acid residues in the neighbourhood of each metal. Although the metal ions considered predominantly had a valence of two, their preferred coordination number and the type of amino-acid residues that participate in the coordination differed significantly from one metal ion to the next. This study concentrates on finding the specificities of a metal-ion environment, namely the distribution of coordination numbers and the amino-acid residue types that frequently take part in coordination. Furthermore, the correlation between the coordination number and the occurrence of certain amino-acid residues (quartets and triplets) in a metal-ion coordination sphere was analysed. The results obtained are of particular value for the identification and modelling of metal-binding sites in protein structures derived by homology modelling. Knowledge of the geometry and characteristics of the metal-binding sites in metalloproteins of known function can help to more closely determine the biological activity of proteins of unknown function and to aid in design of proteins with specific affinity for certain metals.
Acta Crystallogr D, 2008 vol. 64 (Pt 3) pp. 257-263

Geometry of metal-ligand interactions in proteins.
M M Harding.
The geometry of metal-ligand interactions in proteins is examined and compared with information for small-molecule complexes from the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). The paper deals with the metals Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn and with metal-donor atom distances, coordination numbers and extent of distortion from ideal geometry (octahedral, tetrahedral etc.). It assesses the agreement between geometry found in all metalloprotein structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) determined at resolution < or = 1.6 A with that predicted from the CSD for ligands which are analogues of amino-acid side chains in proteins [Harding (1999), Acta Cryst. D55, 1432-1443; Harding (2000), Acta Cryst. D56, 857-867]. The agreement is reasonably good for these structures but poorer for many determined at lower resolution (examined to 2.8 A resolution). For metal-donor distances, the predictions from the CSD, with minor adjustments, provide good targets either for validation or for restraints in refinement of structures where only poorer resolution data is available. These target distances are tabulated and the use of restraints is recommended. Validation of angles or the use in refinement of restraints on angles at the metal atom is more difficult because of the inherent flexibility of these angles. A much simplified set of parameters for angle restraints with quite large standard deviations is provided. (Despite the flexibility of the angles, acceptable and preferred coordination numbers and shapes are well established and a summary table is provided.) An unusual and perhaps biochemically important feature of Zn coordination with carboxylate seen in the CSD examples is also clearly present in metalloprotein structures. With metals like Ca, carboxylate coordination is monodentate or bidentate (two M-O bonds of nearly equal length). In Zn carboxylates a continuous range between monodentate and bidentate coordination is found, with one Zn-O bond of normal length and another of any length between this and a van der Waals contact.
Acta Crystallogr D, 2001 vol. 57 (Pt 3) pp. 401-411

Metal-ligand geometry relevant to proteins and in proteins: sodium and potassium.
Marjorie M Harding.
In previous papers [Harding (2001), Acta Cryst. D57, 401-411, and references therein] the geometry of metal-ligand interactions was examined for six metals (Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn) using the Protein Data Bank and compared with information from accurately determined structures of relevant small-molecule crystals in the Cambridge Structural Database. Here, the environments of Na(+) and K(+) ions found in protein crystal structures are examined in an equivalent way. Target M(+).O distances are proposed and the agreement with observed distances is summarized. The commonest interactions are with water molecules and the next commonest with main-chain carbonyl O atoms.
Acta Crystallogr D, 2002 vol. 58 (Pt 5) pp. 872-874