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Keywords:

  • banana lectin (Banlec);
  • molecular dynamics simulations;
  • hydrogen bond analysis;
  • cluster analysis;
  • root mean square deviation;
  • solvent accessible surface area

Abstract

Banana lectin (Banlec) is a homodimeric non-glycosylated protein. It exhibits the β-prism I structure. High-temperature molecular dynamics simulations have been utilized to monitor and understand early stages of thermally induced unfolding of Banlec. The present study elucidates the behavior of the dimeric protein at four different temperatures and compares the structural and conformational changes to that of the minimized crystal structure. The process of unfolding was monitored by following the radius of gyration, the rms deviation of each residue, change in relative solvent accessibility and the pattern of inter- and intra-subunit interactions. The overall study demonstrates that the Banlec dimer is a highly stable structure, and the stability is mostly contributed by interfacial interactions. It maintains its overall conformation during high-temperature (400–500 K) simulations, with only the unstructured loop regions acquiring greater momentum under such condition. Nevertheless, at still higher temperatures (600 K) the tertiary structure is gradually lost which later extends to loss of secondary structural elements. The pattern of hydrogen bonding within the subunit and at the interface across different stages has been analyzed and has provided rationale for its intrinsic high stability. © 2009 IUBMB IUBMB Life 61(3): 252–260, 2009