Ligand Binding Induces Conformational Changes in Human Cellular Retinol-binding Protein 1 (CRBP1) Revealed by Atomic Resolution Crystal Structures.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Biol Chem, Volume 291, Issue 16, p.8528-40 (2016)


Crystallography, X-Ray, Humans, Hydrogen Bonding, Ligands, Protein Structure, Secondary, Retinol-Binding Proteins, Cellular, Vitamin A


<p>Important in regulating the uptake, storage, and metabolism of retinoids, cellular retinol-binding protein 1 (CRBP1) is essential for trafficking vitamin A through the cytoplasm. However, the molecular details of ligand uptake and targeted release by CRBP1 remain unclear. Here we report the first structure of CRBP1 in a ligand-free form as well as ultra-high resolution structures of this protein bound to either all-trans-retinol or retinylamine, the latter a therapeutic retinoid that prevents light-induced retinal degeneration. Superpositioning of human apo- and holo-CRBP1 revealed major differences within segments surrounding the entrance to the retinoid-binding site. These included α-helix II and hairpin turns between β-strands βC-βD and βE-βF as well as several side chains, such as Phe-57, Tyr-60, and Ile-77, that change their orientations to accommodate the ligand. Additionally, we mapped hydrogen bond networks inside the retinoid-binding cavity and demonstrated their significance for the ligand affinity. Analyses of the crystallographic B-factors indicated several regions with higher backbone mobility in the apoprotein that became more rigid upon retinoid binding. This conformational flexibility of human apo-CRBP1 facilitates interaction with the ligands, whereas the more rigid holoprotein structure protects the labile retinoid moiety during vitamin A transport. These findings suggest a mechanism of induced fit upon ligand binding by mammalian cellular retinol-binding proteins.</p>

5H8T, 5HA1, 5H9A