C. elegans is a heme auxotroph that requires environmental heme for sustenance. As such, worms utilize HRG-3, a small heme-trafficking protein, to traffic heme from the intestine to extra-intestinal tissues and embryos. However, how HRG-3 binds and delivers heme remains unknown. In this study, we utilized electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy together with site-directed spin labeling, absorption spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and mutagenesis to gain structural and molecular insights into HRG-3. We showed that HRG-3 is a dimer, whereas H9 and H10 are significant residues that preserve a specific conformational state in the HRG-3 dimer. In the absence of H9 and H10, HRG-3 can still bind heme, although with a different affinity. Furthermore, the heme-binding site is closer to the N-termini than to the C-termini. Taken together, our results lay the groundwork for future mechanistic and structural studies of HRG-3 and inter-tissue heme trafficking in metazoans.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2015|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by funds received from Bar Ilan University.
© 2015 SBIC.
- Absorption spectroscopy
- Heme transfer
- Site-directed spin labeling