Heat shock protein 47 (Hsp47) acts as a client-specific chaperone for collagen and plays a vital role in collagen maturation and the consequent embryonic development. In addition, this protein can be a potential target for the treatment of fibrosis. Despite its physiological and pathological importance, little is currently known about the collagen-binding mode of Hsp47 from a structural aspect. Here, we describe an NMR study that was conducted to identify the collagen-binding site of Hsp47. We used chicken Hsp47, which has higher solubility than its human counterpart, and applied a selective 15N-labeling method targeting its tryptophan and histidine residues. Spectral assignments were made based on site-directed mutagenesis of the individual residues. By inspecting the spectral changes that were observed upon interaction with a trimeric collagen peptide and the mutational data, we successfully mapped the collagen-binding site in the B/C β-barrel domain and a nearby loop in a 3D-homology model based upon a serpin fold. This conclusion was confirmed by mutational analysis. Our findings provide a molecular basis for the design of compounds that target the interaction between Hsp47 and procollagen as therapeutics for fibrotic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences