Cyclophilin (163 amino acids; 17, 737 daltons) is a ubiquitous cytosolic protein that specifically binds the potent immunosuppressive drug cyclosporin A (CsA). To characterize the structural details of this interaction, extensive use has been made of two-dimensional (2D) NMR methods. For studies on CsA, these methods are being used to assign the conformational space accessible to CsA by analysis of the spectra from the multiple CsA conformers present in slow exchange in mixed solvent systems. These same 2D NMR methods also have been used for extensive studies of the major bovine thymus cyclophilin (CyP) isoform and its complex with stoichiometric amounts of CsA. In the former case, these studies have revealed 81% of the 156 expected hN-Hα crosspeaks. The complete spin-coupled spin systems for one-third of these amide resonances have been assigned according to amino acid type. After exhaustive D2O exchange, there remain 44 amide protons which exhibit 2D NMR features indicative of a hydrophobic domain with β-sheet secondary structure. The CsA-complexed form of CyP exhibits a discrete structure and set of resonances in slow exchange with the drug-free CyP. The amino acids that have been specifically identified to be affected by the interaction are limited in number and include three Phe residues, the unique Trp at position 120, and two Ala residues.
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Acknowledgements-Thisw ork was supportedb y Grants from the National Institutes of Health (GM40660 and CAO9200),a nd the American Cancer Society (CH67). NMR instrumentationa nd computationafal cilities were provided by grants from NIH (RR03475), NSF (DMB8610557a) nd ACS (RD259).