Proteins: Structure, Function, Bioinformatics
Towards rational thermostabilization of Aspergillus oryzae Cutinase: Insights into catalytic and structural stability
Cutinases are powerful hydrolases that can cleave ester bonds of polyesters such as poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET), opening up new options for enzymatic routes for polymer recycling and surface modification reactions. Cutinase from Apsergillus oryzae (AoC) is promising owing to the presence of an extended groove near the catalytic triad which is important for the orientation of polymeric chains. However, the catalytic efficiency of AoC on rigid polymers like PET is limited by its low thermostability; as it is essential to work at or over the glass transition temperature (Tg) of PET i.e. 70°C. Consequently, in this study we worked towards the thermostabilization of AoC. Use of Rosetta computational protein design software in conjunction with rational design led to a 6°C improvement in the thermal unfolding temperature (Tm) and a 10-fold increase in the half-life of the enzyme activity at 60°C. Surprisingly, thermostabilization did not improve the rate or temperature optimum of enzyme activity. Three notable findings are presented as steps toward designing more thermophilic cutinase: (a) surface salt bridge optimization produced enthalpic stabilization, (b) mutations to proline reduced the entropy loss upon folding and (c) the lack of a correlative increase in the temperature optimum of catalytic activity with thermodynamic stability suggests that the active site is locally denatured at a temperature below the Tm of the global structure. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The Sarcolipin(SLN) is a trans-membrane protein that can form a self-assembled pentamer. In this work, the homology modeling and all-atom molecular dynamic (MD) simulation was performed to study the model of SLN pentamer in POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn- glycero-3-phosphocholine) membrane. The potential of mean force (PMF) was calculated for transmembrane transportation of Na+, Cl- and water molecule along the pore channel of penta-SLN complex. The root mean square deviation (RMSD) of the SLN pentamer in POPC membrane showed that the stabilized SLN protein complex could exist in the membrane and that the Na+ and Cl- could not permeate through the channel when the pore was under the vacuum state, but the water could permeate through from cytoplasm to lumen. Under the aqueous state, our simulation demonstrated that hydrated state of Na+ and Cl- could pass through the channel. The PMF and radii of the pore showed that the channel had a gate at Leu21 that is a key hydrophobicity residue in the channel. Our simulations help to clarify and to understand better the SLN pentamer channel that had a hydrophobic gate and could switch Na+ and Cl- ion permeability by hydrated and vacuum states. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Molecular dynamics (MD) trajectories are very large data sets that contain substantial information about the dynamic behavior of a protein. Condensing these data into a form that can provide intuitively useful understanding of the molecular behavior during the trajectory is a substantial challenge that has received relatively little attention. Here, we introduce the sigma-r plot, a plot of the standard deviation of intermolecular distances as a function of that distance. This representation of global dynamics contains within a single, one-dimensional plot, the average range of motion between pairs of atoms within a macromolecule. Comparison of sigma-r plots calculated from 10 nsec trajectories of proteins representing the four major SCOP fold classes indicates diversity of dynamic behaviors which are recognizably different among the four classes. Differences in domain structure and molecular weight also produce recognizable features in sigma-r plots, reflective of differences in global dynamics. Plots generated from trajectories with progressively increasing simulation time reflect the increased sampling of the structural ensemble as a function of time. Single amino acid replacements can give rise to changes in global dynamics detectable through comparison of sigma-r plots. Dynamic behavior of substructures can be monitored by careful choice of interatomic vectors included in the calculation. These examples provide demonstrations of the utility of the sigma-r plot to provide a simple measure of the global dynamics of a macromolecule. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
In this paper we report the results of molecular dynamics simulations of AXH monomer of Ataxin-1. The AXH domain plays a crucial role in Ataxin-1 aggregation, which accompanies the initiation and progression of Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. Our simulations involving both classical and replica exchange molecular dynamics, followed by Principal Component Analysis of the trajectories obtained, reveal substantial conformational fluctuations of the protein structure, especially in the N-terminal region. We show that these fluctuations can be generated by thermal noise since the free energy barriers between conformations are small enough for thermally-stimulated transitions. In agreement with previous experimental findings, our results can be considered as a basis for a future design of ataxin aggregation inhibitors that will require several key conformations identified in the present study as molecular targets for ligand binding. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Interaction between bound water molecules and local protein structures: A statistical analysis of the hydrogen bond structures around bound water molecules
Water molecules play an important role in protein folding and protein interactions through their structural association with proteins. Examples of such structural association can be found in protein crystal structures, and can often explain protein functionality in the context of structure. We herein report the systematic analysis of the local structures of proteins interacting with water molecules, and the characterization of their geometric features. We first examined the interaction of water molecules with a large local interaction environment by comparing the preference of water molecules in three regions, namely, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) interfaces, the crystal contact (CC) interfaces, and the non-interfacial regions. High preference of water molecules to the PPI and CC interfaces was found. In addition, the bound water on the PPI interface was more favorably associated with the complex interaction structure, implying that such water-mediated structures may participate in the shaping of the PPI interface. The pairwise water-mediated interaction was then investigated, and the water-mediated residue-residue interaction potential was derived. Subsequently, the types of polar atoms surrounding the water molecules were analyzed, and the preference of the hydrogen bond acceptor was observed. Furthermore, the geometries of the structures interacting with water were analyzed, and it was found that the major structure on the protein surface exhibited planar geometry rather than tetrahedral geometry. Several previously undiscovered characteristics of water-protein interactions were unfolded in this study, and are expected to lead to a better understanding of protein structure and function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) converts succinic semialdehyde (SSA) to succinic acid in the mitochondrial matrix and is involved in the metabolism of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The molecular structure of human SSADH revealed the intrinsic regulatory mechanism—redox-switch modulation—by which large conformational changes are brought about in the catalytic loop through disulfide bonding. The crystal structures revealed two SSADH conformations, and computational modeling of transformation between them can provide substantial insights into detailed dynamic redox modulation. On the basis of these two clear crystal structures, we modeled the conformational motion between these structures in silico. For that purpose, we proposed and used a geometry-based coarse-grained mathematical model of long-range protein motion and the related modeling algorithm. The algorithm is based on solving the special optimization problem, which is similar to the classical Monge–Kantorovich mass transportation problem. The modeled transformation was supported by another morphing method based on a completely different framework. The result of the modeling facilitates better interpretation and understanding of the SSADH biological role. Proteins 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
A novel protein refinement protocol is presented which utilizes molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of an ensemble of adaptively restrained homologous replicas. This approach adds evolutionary information to the force field and reduces random conformational fluctuations by coupling of several replicas. It is shown that this protocol refines the majority of models from the CASP11 refinement category and that larger conformational changes of the starting structure are possible than with current state of the art methods. The performance of this protocol in the CASP11 experiment is discussed. We found that the quality of the refined model is correlated with the structural variance of the coupled replicas, which therefore provides a good estimator of model quality. Furthermore, some remarkable refinement results are discussed in detail. Proteins 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
R248 in the DNA binding domain (DBD) of p53 interacts directly with the minor groove of DNA. Earlier nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies indicated that the R248Q mutation resulted in conformation changes in parts of DBD far from the mutation site. However, how information propagates from the mutation site to the rest of the DBD is still not well understood. We performed a series of all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to dissect sterics and charge effects of R248 on p53-DBD conformation: (i) wild-type p53 DBD; (ii) p53 DBD with an electrically neutral arginine side-chain; (iii) p53 DBD with R248A; (iv) p53 DBD with R248W; and (v) p53 DBD with R248Q. Our results agree well with experimental observations of global conformational changes induced by the R248Q mutation. Our simulations suggest that both charge- and sterics are important in the dynamics of the loop (L3) where the mutation resides. We show that helix 2 (H2) dynamics is altered as a result of a change in the hydrogen bonding partner of D281. In turn, neighboring L1 dynamics is altered: in mutants, L1 predominantly adopts the recessed conformation and is unable to interact with the major groove of DNA. We focused our attention the R248Q mutant that is commonly found in a wide range of cancer and observed changes at the zinc-binding pocket that might account for the dominant negative effects of R248Q. Furthermore, in our simulations, the S6/S7 turn was more frequently solvent exposed in R248Q, suggesting that there is a greater tendency of R248Q to partially unfold and possibly lead to an increased aggregation propensity. Finally, based on the observations made in our simulations, we propose strategies for the rescue of R248Q mutants. Proteins 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Amino acid positions subject to multiple co-evolutionary constraints can be robustly identified by their eigenvector network centrality scores
As proteins evolve, amino acid positions key to protein structure or function are subject to mutational constraints. These positions can be detected by analyzing sequence families for amino acid conservation or for co-evolution between pairs of positions. Co-evolutionary scores are usually rank-ordered and thresholded to reveal the top pairwise scores, but they also can be treated as weighted networks. Here, we used network analyses to bypass a major complication of co-evolution studies: For a given sequence alignment, alternative algorithms usually identify different, top pairwise scores. We reconciled results from five commonly-used, mathematically divergent algorithms (ELSC, McBASC, OMES, SCA, and ZNMI), using the LacI/GalR and 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase protein families as models. Calculations used unthresholded co-evolution scores from which column-specific properties such as sequence entropy and random noise were subtracted; “central” positions were identified by calculating various network centrality scores. When compared among algorithms, network centrality methods, particularly eigenvector centrality, showed markedly better agreement than comparisons of the top pairwise scores. Positions with large centrality scores occurred at key structural locations and/or were functionally sensitive to mutations. Further, the top central positions often differed from those with top pairwise co-evolution scores: Instead of a few strong scores, central positions often had multiple, moderate scores. We conclude that eigenvector centrality calculations reveal a robust evolutionary pattern of constraints – detectable by divergent algorithms – that occur at key protein locations. Finally, we discuss the fact that multiple patterns co-exist in evolutionary data that, together, give rise to emergent protein functions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Forty six lectin domains which have homologues among well established eukaryotic and bacterial lectins of known three dimensional structure, have been identified through a search of 165 archeal genomes using a multi-pronged approach involving domain recognition, sequence search and analysis of binding sites. Twenty one of them have the 7-bladed β-propeller lectin fold while 16 have the β-trefoil fold and 7 the legume lectin fold. The remainder assumes the C-type lectin, the β-prism I and the tachylectin folds. Acceptable models of almost all of them could be generated using the appropriate lectins of known three dimensional structure as templates, with binding sites at one or more expected locations. The work represents the first comprehensive bioinformatic study of archeal lectins. The presence of lectins with the same fold in all domains of life indicates their ancient origin well before the divergence of the three branches. Further work is necessary to identify archeal lectins which have no homologues among eukaryotic and bacterial species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DyP-type peroxidases are a newly discovered family of heme peroxidases distributed from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. Recently, using a structure-based sequence alignment, we proposed the new classes, P, I and V, as substitutes for classes A, B, C, and D [Arch Biochem Biophys 2015;574:49–55]. Although many class V enzymes from eukaryotes have been characterized, only two from prokaryotes have been reported. Here, we show the crystal structure of one of these two enzymes, Anabaena sp. DyP-type peroxidase (AnaPX). AnaPX is tetramer formed from Cys224-Cys224 disulfide-linked dimers. The tetramer of wild-type AnaPX was stable at all salt concentrations tested. In contrast, the C224A mutant showed salt concentration-dependent oligomeric states: in 600 mM NaCl, it maintained a tetrameric structure, whereas in the absence of salt, it dissociated into monomers, leading to a reduction in thermostability. Although the tetramer exhibits non-crystallographic, 2-fold symmetry in the asymmetric unit, two subunits forming the Cys224-Cys224 disulfide-linked dimer are related by 165° rotation. This asymmetry creates an opening to cavities facing the inside of the tetramer, providing a pathway for hydrogen peroxide access. Finally, a phylogenetic analysis using structure-based sequence alignments showed that class V enzymes from prokaryotes, including AnaPX, are phylogenetically closely related to class V enzymes from eukaryotes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Toward decrypting the allosteric mechanism of the ryanodine receptor based on coarse-grained structural and dynamic modeling
The ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are a family of Calcium (Ca) channels that regulate Ca release by undergoing a closed-to-open gating transition in response to action potential or Ca binding. The allosteric mechanism of RyRs gating, which is activated/regulated by ligand/protein binding >200 Å away from the channel gate, remains elusive for the lack of high-resolution structures. Recent solution of the closed-form structures of the RyR1 isoform by cryo-electron microscopy has paved the way for detailed structure-driven studies of RyRs functions. Toward elucidating the allosteric mechanism of RyRs gating, we performed coarse-grained modeling based on the newly solved closed-form structures of RyR1. Our normal mode analysis captured a key mode of collective motions dominating the observed structural variations in RyR1, which features large outward and downward movements of the peripheral domains with the channel remaining closed, and involves hotspot residues that overlap well with key functional sites and disease mutations. In particular, we found a key interaction between a peripheral domain and the Ca-binding EF hand domain, which may allow for direct coupling of Ca binding to the collective motions as captured by the above mode. This key mode was robustly reproduced by the normal mode analysis of the other two closed-form structures of RyR1 solved independently. To elucidate the closed-to-open conformational changes in RyR1 with amino-acid level of details, we flexibly fitted the closed-form structures of RyR1 into a 10-Å cryo-electron microscopy map of the open state. We observed extensive structural changes involving the peripheral domains and the central domains, resulting in the channel pore opening. In sum, our findings have offered unprecedented structural and dynamic insights to the allosteric mechanism of RyR1 via modulation of the key collective motions involved in RyR1 gating. The predicted hotspot residues and open-form conformation of RyR1 will guide future mutational and functional studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The CASP experiment is a biannual benchmark for assessing protein structure prediction methods. In CASP11, RBO Aleph ranked as one of the top performing automated structure prediction top-performing automated servers in the free modeling categoryin CASP11. . This category consists of targets for which structural templates are not easily retrievable. We analyze the performance of RBO Aleph 's success is attributed to its successful and show that its success in CASP was a result of its ab initio structure prediction protocolwith its following components . A detailed analysis of this protocol demonstrates that two components unique to our method greatly contributed to prediction quality: residue–residue contact prediction by EPC-map, and contact–guided conformational space search by model-based search (MBS). Interestingly, our analysis also points to a possible fundamental problem in evaluating the performance of protein structure prediction methods: Improvements in components of the method do not necessarily lead to improvements of the entire method. This points to the fact that these components interact in ways that are poorly understood. This problem, if indeed true, represents a significant obstacle to community-wide progress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Partial Unfoldingand Refolding for Structure Refinement: A Unified Approach of Geometric Simulations and Molecular Dynamics
The most successful protein structure prediction methods to date have been template-based modeling (TBM) or homology modeling, which predicts protein structure based on experimental structures. These high accuracy predictions sometimes retain structural errors due to incorrect templates or a lack of accurate templates in the case of low sequence similarity, making these structures inadequate in drug-design studies or molecular dynamics simulations. We have developed a new physics based approach to the protein refinement problem by mimicking the mechanism of chaperons that rehabilitate misfolded proteins. The template structure is unfolded by selectively (targeted) pulling on different portions of the protein using the geometric based technique FRODA, and then refolded using hierarchically restrained replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations (hr-REMD). FRODA unfolding is used to create a diverse set of topologies for surveying near native-like structures from a template and to provide a set of persistent contacts to be employed during re-folding. We have tested our approach on 13 previous CASP targets and observed that this method of folding an ensemble of partially unfolded structures, through the hierarchical addition of contact restraints (i.e., first local and then nonlocal interactions), leads to a refolding of the structure along with refinement in most cases (12/13). Although this approach yields refined models through advancement in sampling, the task of blind selection of the best refined models still needs to be solved. Overall, the method can be useful for improved sampling for low resolution models where certain of the portions of the structure are incorrectly modeled. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
For the template-free modeling of human targets of CASP11, we utilized two of our modeling protocols, LEE and LEER. The LEE protocol takes CASP released took CASP11-released server models as the input and uses used some of them as templates for 3D (three-dimensional) modeling. The model selection process is template selection procedure was based on the clustering of the server models aided by the modularity optimization a community detection method of a server-model network. Restraining energy terms generated from the selected templates together with physical and statistical energy terms are were used to build 3D (three-dimensional) models. Side-chains of the 3D models are were rebuilt using target-specific consensus side-chain library along with the standard Scwrl4 SCWRL4 rotamer library, which finishes completed the LEE protocol. The first success factor of the LEE protocol is was due to efficient server model screeningrepresented by the fact that the average selected models are similar to the average . The average backbone accuracy of selected server models was similar to that of top 30% serve modelsin backbone accuracyserver models. The second success factor comes from the fact that the LEE protocol can generate factor was that a proper energy function along with our optimization method guided us, so that we successfully generated better quality models than the input template models. In 10 out of 24 cases, superior backbone structure better backbone structures than the best of input template structures were createdgenerated. LEE models are were further refined by performing restrained molecular dynamics simulations to generate LEER models. CASP11 results indicate that LEE models are overwhelmingly superior to were better than the average template models in terms of both backbone structures and side chain side-chain orientations. LEER models are even further improved in terms of the physical realism although the improvement of the backbone accuracyover LEE models are minorwere of improved physical realism and stereo-chemistry compared to LEE models, and they were comparable to LEE models in the backbone accuracy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP) experiment would not have been possible without the prediction targets provided by the experimental structural biology community. In this paper, selected crystallographers providing targets for the CASP11 experiment discuss the functional and biological significance of the target proteins, highlight their most interesting structural features, and assess whether these features were correctly reproduced in the predictions submitted to CASP11. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This paper provides a report on the state-of-the-art in the prediction of intra-molecular residue-residue contacts in proteins based on the assessment of the predictions submitted to the CASP11 experiment. The assessment emphasis is placed on the accuracy in predicting long-range contacts.
Twenty-nine groups participated in contact prediction in CASP11. At least eight of them used the recently developed evolutionary coupling techniques, with the top group (CONSIP2) reaching precision of 27% on target proteins that could not be modeled by homology. This result indicates a breakthrough in the development of methods based on the correlated mutation approach. Successful prediction of contacts was shown to be practically helpful in modeling three-dimensional structures; in particular target T0806 was modeled exceedingly well with accuracy not yet seen for ab initio targets of this size (>250 residues). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Halohydrin hydrogen-halide-lyase (H-Lyase) is a bacterial enzyme that is involved in the degradation of halohydrins. This enzyme catalyzes the intramolecular nucleophilic displacement of a halogen by a vicinal hydroxyl group in halohydrins to produce the corresponding epoxides. The epoxide products are subsequently hydrolyzed by an epoxide hydrolase, yielding the corresponding 1, 2-diol. Until now, six different H-Lyases have been studied. These H-Lyases are grouped into three subtypes (A, B, and C) based on amino acid sequence similarities and exhibit different enantioselectivity. Corynebacterium sp. strain N-1074 has two different isozymes of H-Lyase, HheA (A-type) and HheB (B-type). We have determined their crystal structures to elucidate the differences in enantioselectivity among them. All three groups share a similar structure, including catalytic sites. The lack of enantioselectivity of HheA seems to be due to the relatively wide size of the substrate tunnel compared to that of other H-Lyases. Among the B-type H-Lyases, HheB shows relatively high enantioselectivity compared to that of HheBGP1. This difference seems to be due to amino acid replacements at the active site tunnel. The binding mode of 1, 3-dicyano-2-propanol at the catalytic site in the crystal structure of the HheB-DiCN complex suggests that the product should be (R)-epichlorohydrin, which agrees with the enantioselectivity of HheB. Comparison with the structure of HheC provides a clue for the difference in their enantioselectivity. Proteins 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
We developed a Poisson-Boltzmann based approach to calculate the values of protein ionizable residues (Glu, Asp, His, Lys and Arg), nucleotides of RNA and single stranded DNA. Two novel features were utilized: the dielectric properties of the macromolecules and water phase were modeled via the smooth Gaussian-based dielectric function in DelPhi and the corresponding electrostatic energies were calculated without defining the molecular surface. We tested the algorithm by calculating values for more than 300 residues from 32 proteins from the PPD dataset and achieved an overall RMSD of 0.77. Particularly, the RMSD of 0.55 was achieved for surface residues, while the RMSD of 1.1 for buried residues. The approach was also found capable of capturing the large shifts of various single point mutations in staphylococcal nuclease (SNase) from -cooperative dataset, resulting in an overall RMSD of 1.6 for this set of pKa's. Investigations showed that predictions for most of buried mutant residues of SNase could be improved by using higher dielectric constant values. Furthermore, an option to generate different hydrogen positions also improves predictions for buried carboxyl residues. Finally, the calculations on two RNAs demonstrated the capability of this approach for other types of biomolecules. Proteins 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Pressure-induced structural transition of mature HIV-1 protease from a combined NMR/MD simulation approach
We investigate the pressure-induced structural changes in the mature human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease dimer, using residual dipolar coupling (RDC) measurements in a weakly oriented solution. 1DNH RDCs were measured under high-pressure conditions for an inhibitor-free PR and an inhibitor-bound complex, as well as for an inhibitor-free multidrug resistant protease bearing 20 mutations (PR20). While PR20 and the inhibitor-bound PR were little affected by pressure, inhibitor-free PR showed significant differences in the RDCs measured at 600 bar compared with 1 bar. The structural basis of such changes was investigated by MD simulations using the experimental RDC restraints, revealing substantial conformational perturbations, specifically a partial opening of the flaps and the penetration of water molecules into the hydrophobic core of the subunits at high pressure. This study highlights the exquisite sensitivity of RDCs to pressure-induced conformational changes and illustrates how RDCs combined with MD simulations can be used to determine the structural properties of metastable intermediate states on the folding energy landscape. Proteins 2015. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.