Lactose binding to human galectin-7 (p53-induced gene 1) induces long-range effects through the protein resulting in increased dimer stability and evidence for positive cooperativity

Elena Ermakova, Michelle C. Miller, Irina V. Nesmelova, Lara Lopez-Merino, Manuel Alvaro Berbis, Yuri Nesmelov, Yaroslav V. Tkachev, Laura Lagartera, Vladimir A. Daragan, Sabine Andre, F. Javier Canada, Jesus Jimenez-Barbero, Dolores Solis, Hans-Joachim Gabius, Kevin H. Mayo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Web of Science)


The product of p53-induced gene 1 is a member of the galectin family, i.e., galectin-7 (Gal-7). To move beyond structural data by X-ray diffraction, we initiated the study of the lectin by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and circular dichroism spectroscopies, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In concert, our results indicate that lactose binding to human Gal-7 induces long-range effects (minor conformational shifts and changes in structural dynamics) throughout the protein that result in stabilization of the dimer state, with evidence for positive cooperativity. Monte Carlo fits of (15)N-Gal-7 HSQC titrations with lactose using a two-site model yield K1 = 0.9 ? 0.6 ? 10(3) M(-1) and K2 = 3.4 ? 0.8 ? 10(3) M(-1). Ligand binding-induced stabilization of the Gal-7 dimer was supported by several lines of evidence: MD-based calculations of interaction energies between ligand-loaded and ligand-free states, gel filtration data and hetero-FRET spectroscopy that indicate a highly reduced tendency for dimer dissociation in the presence of lactose, CD-based thermal denaturation showing that the transition temperature of the lectin is significantly increased in the presence of lactose, and saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR using a molecular probe of the monomer state whose presence is diminished in the presence of lactose. MD simulations with the half-loaded ligand-bound state also provided insight into how allosteric signaling may occur. Overall, our results reveal long-range effects on Gal-7 structure and dynamics, which factor into entropic contributions to ligand binding and allow further comparisons with other members of the galectin family.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-523
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • circular dichroism
  • FRET
  • galectin
  • molecular dynamics
  • NMR

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