Proline is a unique amino acid owing to the relatively small energy difference between the cis and trans conformations of its peptide bond. The X–Pro imide bond readily undergoes cis–trans isomerization in the context of short peptides as well as some proteins. However, the direct detection of cis–trans proline isomerization in folded proteins is technically challenging. NMR spectroscopy is well suited to the direct detection of proline isomerization in folded proteins. It is less clear how well X-ray crystallography can reveal this conformational exchange event in folded proteins. Conformational heterogeneity owing to cis–trans proline isomerization in the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain of the IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase (ITK) has been extensively characterized by NMR. Using the ITK SH2 domain as a test system, an attempt was made to determine whether proline isomerization could be detected in a crystal structure of the ITK SH2 domain. As a first step towards this goal, the purification, crystallization and preliminary characterization of the ITK SH2 domain are described.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amy_andreotti/5/