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1m12, 20 NMR models ()
Related: 1nkl
Resources: FirstGlance, OCA, RCSB, PDBsum
Coordinates: save as pdb, mmCIF, xml


NMR solution structure of human Saposin C

Publication Abstract from PubMed

Saposin C binds to membranes to activate lipid degradation in lysosomes. To get insights into saposin C's function, we have determined its three-dimensional structure by NMR and investigated its interaction with phospholipid vesicles. Saposin C adopts the saposin-fold common to other members of the family. In contrast, the electrostatic surface revealed by the NMR structure is remarkably different. We suggest that charge distribution in the protein surface can modulate membrane interaction leading to the functional diversity of this family. We find that the binding of saposin C to phospholipid vesicles is a pH-controlled reversible process. The pH dependence of this interaction is sigmoidal, with an apparent pK(a) for binding close to 5.3. The pK(a) values of many solvent-exposed Glu residues are anomalously high and close to the binding pK(a). Our NMR data are consistent with the absence of a conformational change prior to membrane binding. All this information suggests that the negatively charged electrostatic surface of saposin C needs to be partially neutralized to trigger membrane binding. We have studied the membrane-binding behavior of a mutant of saposin C designed to decrease the negative charge of the electrostatic surface. The results support our conclusion on the importance of protein surface neutralization in binding. Since saposin C is a lysosomal protein and pH gradients occur in lysosomes, we propose that lipid degradation in the lysosome could be switched on and off by saposin C's reversible binding to membranes.

Solution structure of human saposin C: pH-dependent interaction with phospholipid vesicles., de Alba E, Weiler S, Tjandra N, Biochemistry. 2003 Dec 23;42(50):14729-40. PMID:14674747

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


[SAP_HUMAN] Defects in PSAP are the cause of combined saposin deficiency (CSAPD) [MIM:611721]; also known as prosaposin deficiency. CSAPD is due to absence of all saposins, leading to a fatal storage disorder with hepatosplenomegaly and severe neurological involvement.[1][2] Defects in PSAP saposin-B region are the cause of leukodystrophy metachromatic due to saposin-B deficiency (MLD-SAPB) [MIM:249900]. MLD-SAPB is an atypical form of metachromatic leukodystrophy. It is characterized by tissue accumulation of cerebroside-3-sulfate, demyelination, periventricular white matter abnormalities, peripheral neuropathy. Additional neurological features include dysarthria, ataxic gait, psychomotr regression, seizures, cognitive decline and spastic quadriparesis. Defects in PSAP saposin-C region are the cause of atypical Gaucher disease (AGD) [MIM:610539]. Affected individuals have marked glucosylceramide accumulation in the spleen without having a deficiency of glucosylceramide-beta glucosidase characteristic of classic Gaucher disease, a lysosomal storage disorder.[3][4] Defects in PSAP saposin-A region are the cause of atypical Krabbe disease (AKRD) [MIM:611722]. AKRD is a disorder of galactosylceramide metabolism. AKRD features include progressive encephalopathy and abnormal myelination in the cerebral white matter resembling Krabbe disease.[5] Note=Defects in PSAP saposin-D region are found in a variant of Tay-Sachs disease (GM2-gangliosidosis).


[SAP_HUMAN] The lysosomal degradation of sphingolipids takes place by the sequential action of specific hydrolases. Some of these enzymes require specific low-molecular mass, non-enzymic proteins: the sphingolipids activator proteins (coproteins). Saposin-A and saposin-C stimulate the hydrolysis of glucosylceramide by beta-glucosylceramidase (EC and galactosylceramide by beta-galactosylceramidase (EC Saposin-C apparently acts by combining with the enzyme and acidic lipid to form an activated complex, rather than by solubilizing the substrate. Saposin-B stimulates the hydrolysis of galacto-cerebroside sulfate by arylsulfatase A (EC, GM1 gangliosides by beta-galactosidase (EC and globotriaosylceramide by alpha-galactosidase A (EC Saposin-B forms a solubilizing complex with the substrates of the sphingolipid hydrolases. Saposin-D is a specific sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase activator (EC

About this Structure

1m12 is a 1 chain structure with sequence from Homo sapiens. Full experimental information is available from OCA.

See Also


  • de Alba E, Weiler S, Tjandra N. Solution structure of human saposin C: pH-dependent interaction with phospholipid vesicles. Biochemistry. 2003 Dec 23;42(50):14729-40. PMID:14674747 doi:10.1021/bi0301338
  1. Schnabel D, Schroder M, Furst W, Klein A, Hurwitz R, Zenk T, Weber J, Harzer K, Paton BC, Poulos A, et al.. Simultaneous deficiency of sphingolipid activator proteins 1 and 2 is caused by a mutation in the initiation codon of their common gene. J Biol Chem. 1992 Feb 15;267(5):3312-5. PMID:1371116
  2. Hulkova H, Cervenkova M, Ledvinova J, Tochackova M, Hrebicek M, Poupetova H, Befekadu A, Berna L, Paton BC, Harzer K, Boor A, Smid F, Elleder M. A novel mutation in the coding region of the prosaposin gene leads to a complete deficiency of prosaposin and saposins, and is associated with a complex sphingolipidosis dominated by lactosylceramide accumulation. Hum Mol Genet. 2001 Apr 15;10(9):927-40. PMID:11309366
  3. Schnabel D, Schroder M, Sandhoff K. Mutation in the sphingolipid activator protein 2 in a patient with a variant of Gaucher disease. FEBS Lett. 1991 Jun 17;284(1):57-9. PMID:2060627
  4. Tylki-Szymanska A, Czartoryska B, Vanier MT, Poorthuis BJ, Groener JA, Lugowska A, Millat G, Vaccaro AM, Jurkiewicz E. Non-neuronopathic Gaucher disease due to saposin C deficiency. Clin Genet. 2007 Dec;72(6):538-42. Epub 2007 Oct 7. PMID:17919309 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-0004.2007.00899.x
  5. Spiegel R, Bach G, Sury V, Mengistu G, Meidan B, Shalev S, Shneor Y, Mandel H, Zeigler M. A mutation in the saposin A coding region of the prosaposin gene in an infant presenting as Krabbe disease: first report of saposin A deficiency in humans. Mol Genet Metab. 2005 Feb;84(2):160-6. PMID:15773042

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