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Human ribonuclease (RNase) 1 and bovine RNase A are the proto-types of the secretory "pancreatic-type" (pt)-RNase super-family. RNase A can oligomerize through the 3D domain swapping (DS) mechanism upon acetic acid (HAc) lyophilisation, producing enzymatically active oligomeric conformers by swapping both N- and C-termini. Also some RNase 1 mutants were found to self-associate through 3D-DS, however forming only N-swapped dimers. Notably, enzymatically active dimers and larger oligomers of wt-RNase 1 were collected here, in higher amount than RNase A, from HAc lyophilisation. In particular, RNase 1 self-associates through the 3D-DS of its N-terminus and, at a higher extent, of the C-terminus. Since RNase 1 is four-residues longer than RNase A, we further analyzed its oligomerization tendency in a mutant lacking the last four residues. The C-terminus role has been investigated also in amphibian onconase (ONC®), a pt-RNase that can form only a N-swapped dimer, since its C-terminus, that is three-residues longer than RNase A, is locked by a disulfide bond. While ONC mutants designed to unlock or cut this constraint were almost unable to dimerize, the RNase 1 mutant self-associated at a higher extent than the wt, suggesting a specific role of the C-terminus in the oligomerization of different RNases. Overall, RNase 1 reaches here the highest ability, among pt-RNases, to extensively self-associate through 3D-DS, paving the way for new investigations on the structural and biological properties of its oligomers. Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Irene Noro, Ilaria Bettin, Sabrina Fasoli, Marcello Smania, Luca Lunardi, Michele Giannini, Leonardo Andreoni, Riccardo Montioli, Giovanni Gotte. Human RNase 1 can extensively oligomerize through 3D domain swapping thanks to the crucial contribution of its C-terminus. International journal of biological macromolecules. 2023 Sep 30;249:126110

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PMID: 37536419

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