Secretory-abundant heat-soluble (SAHS) proteins, which constitute a protein family unique to tardigrades, are thought to be essential for anhydrobiosis. Our previous study has revealed that one of the SAHS proteins of Ramazzottius varieornatus (RvSAHS1) has a more flexible entrance than a mammalian fatty-acid-binding protein, which has a crystal structure similar to that of RvSAHS1. Recently, SAHS paralogs that are expressed abundantly and specifically in the early embryos of this tardigrade and Hypsibius exemplaris have been identified. Comparing these amino-acid sequences with that of RvSAHS1, we have found characteristic differences as I113F and D146T. In this study, we investigate I113F and D146T mutants' properties of RvSAHS1 using molecular dynamics simulations and compare the structures and fluctuations of their entrances with those of the wild type. The two mutants exhibit different properties at the entrance of the β-barrel structure. The I113F mutant tends to close the entrance more than the wild type due to the enhanced hydrophobic network inside the cavity. The D146T mutant, in contrast to the I113F mutant, tends to open the entrance. The mechanism by which this mutation opens the entrance is also discussed. Even though only a single mutation located far from the entrance is added to the wild type, there is a clear difference in the tendency to open and close the β-barrel entrance. It indicates that the entrance properties of the SAHS protein are sensitive to the amino-acid sequence.
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