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Crystal Structure Of The 30 K Protein From The Silkworm Bombyx Mori Reveals A New Member Of The β-trefoil Superfamily.

Jie-Pin Yang, Xiaoxiao Ma, Yong-Xing He, W. Li, Y. Kang, R. Bao, Y. Chen, C. Zhou
Published 2011 · Medicine, Biology

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The hemolymph of the fifth instar larvae of the silkworm Bombyx mori contains a group of homologous proteins with a molecular weight of approximately 30 kDa, termed B. mori low molecular weight lipoproteins (Bmlps), which account for about 5% of the total plasma proteins. These so-called "30 K proteins" have been reported to be involved in the innate immune response and transportation of lipid and/or sugar. To elucidate their molecular functions, we determined the crystal structure of a 30 K protein, Bmlp7, at 1.91Å. It has two distinct domains: an all-α N-terminal domain (NTD) and an all-β C-terminal domain (CTD) of the β-trefoil fold. Comparative structural analysis indicates that Bmlp7 represents a new family, adding to the 14 families currently identified, of the β-trefoil superfamily. Structural comparison and simulation suggest that the NTD has a putative lipid-binding cavity, whereas the CTD has a potential sugar-binding site. However, we were unable to detect the binding of either lipid or sugar. Therefore, further investigations are needed to characterize the molecular function of this protein.
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