A new variant of HbS, HbS-Einstein with a deletion of segment α23–26 in the B-helix, has been assembled by semisynthetic approach. B-helix of the α chain of cis αβ-dimer of HbS plays dominant role in the quinary interactions of deoxy HbS dimer. This B-helix is the primary scaffold that provides the orientation for the side chains of contact residues of this intermolecular contact domain. The design of HbS-Einstein has been undertaken to map the influence of perturbation of molecular surface topology and the flexibility of surface residues in the polymerization. The internal deletion exerts a strong inhibitory influence on Val-6 (β)-dependent polymerization, comparable to single contact site mutations and not for complete neutralization of Val-6(β)-dependent polymerization. The scaffold modification in cis-dimer is inhibitory, and is without any effect when present on the trans dimer. The flexibility changes in the surface topology in the region of scaffold modification apparently counteracts the intrinsic polymerization potential of the molecule. The inhibition is close to that of Le Lamentin mutation [His-20 (α) → Gln] wherein a mutation engineered without much change in flexibility of the contact domain. Interestingly, the chimeric HbS with swine–human chimeric α chain with multiple non-conservative mutations completely inhibits the Val-6(β)-dependent polymerization. The deformabilities of surface topology of chimeric HbS are comparable to HbS in spite of the multiple contact site mutations in the α-chain. We conclude that the design of antisickling Hbs for gene therapy of sickle cell disease should involve multiple mutations of intermolecular contact sites.
- gene therapy of sickle cell disease
- protein surface-topology
- semisynthetic internal-deletion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology