Evidence for dispensable sequences inserted into a nucleotide fold

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Science  25 Sep 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4822, pp. 1614-1618
DOI: 10.1126/science.3306924


Previous experimental results along with the structural modeling presented indicate that a nucleotide fold starts in the amino-terminal part of Escherichia coli isoleucyl-transfer RNA synthetase, a single chain polypeptide of 939 amino acids. Internal deletions were created in the region of the nucleotide fold. A set of deletions that collectively span 145 contiguous amino acids yielded active enzymes. Further extensions of the deletions yielded inactive or unstable proteins. The three-dimensional structure of an evidently homologous protein suggests that the active deletions lack portions of a segment that connects two parts of the nucleotide fold. Therefore, the results imply that removal of major sections of the polypeptide that connects these two parts of the fold does not result in major perturbation of the nucleotide binding site.