Structure and Dynamics of an Intrinsically Disordered Protein Region That Partially Folds upon Binding by Chemical-Exchange NMR

Cyril Charlier, Guillaume Bouvignies, Philippe Pelupessy, Astrid Walrant, Rodrigue Marquant, Mikhail Kozlov, Pablo De Ioannes, Nicolas Bolik-Coulon, Sandrine Sagan, Patricia Cortes, Aneel K. Aggarwal, Ludovic Carlier, Fabien Ferrage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Many intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and protein regions (IDRs) engage in transient, yet specific, interactions with a variety of protein partners. Often, if not always, interactions with a protein partner lead to partial folding of the IDR. Characterizing the conformational space of such complexes is challenging: in solution-state NMR, signals of the IDR in the interacting region become broad, weak, and often invisible, while X-ray crystallography only provides information on fully ordered regions. There is thus a need for a simple method to characterize both fully and partially ordered regions in the bound state of IDPs. Here, we introduce an approach based on monitoring chemical exchange by NMR to investigate the state of an IDR that folds upon binding through the observation of the free state of the protein. Structural constraints for the bound state are obtained from chemical shifts, and site-specific dynamics of the bound state are characterized by relaxation rates. The conformation of the interacting part of the IDR was determined and subsequently docked onto the structure of the folded partner. We apply the method to investigate the interaction between the disordered C-terminal region of Artemis and the DNA binding domain of Ligase IV. We show that we can accurately reproduce the structure of the core of the complex determined by X-ray crystallography and identify a broader interface. The method is widely applicable to the biophysical investigation of complexes of disordered proteins and folded proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12219-12227
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number35
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2017


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