Protein Science

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Wiley Online Library : Protein Science
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Development of electron spin echo envelope modulation spectroscopy to probe the secondary structure of recombinant membrane proteins in a lipid bilayer

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 23:54
Abstract

Membrane proteins conduct many important biological functions essential to the survival of organisms. However, due to their inherent hydrophobic nature, it is very difficult to obtain structural information on membrane-bound proteins using traditional biophysical techniques. We are developing a new approach to probe the secondary structure of membrane proteins using the pulsed EPR technique of Electron Spin Echo Envelope Modulation (ESEEM) Spectroscopy. This method has been successfully applied to model peptides made synthetically. However, in order for this ESEEM technique to be widely applicable to larger membrane protein systems with no size limitations, protein samples with deuterated residues need to be prepared via protein expression methods. For the first time, this study shows that the ESEEM approach can be used to probe the local secondary structure of a 2H-labeled d8-Val overexpressed membrane protein in a membrane mimetic environment. The membrane-bound human KCNE1 protein was used with a known solution NMR structure to demonstrate the applicability of this methodology. Three different α-helical regions of KCNE1 were probed: the extracellular domain (Val21), transmembrane domain (Val50), and cytoplasmic domain (Val95). These results indicated α-helical structures in all three segments, consistent with the micelle structure of KCNE1. Furthermore, KCNE1 was incorporated into a lipid bilayer and the secondary structure of the transmembrane domain (Val50) was shown to be α-helical in a more native-like environment. This study extends the application of this ESEEM approach to much larger membrane protein systems that are difficult to study with X-ray crystallography and/or NMR spectroscopy.

Categories: Journal Articles

Sequential unfolding of the hemolysin two-partner secretion domain from Proteus mirabilis

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 00:14
Abstract

Protein secretion is a major contributor to Gram-negative bacterial virulence. Type Vb or two-partner secretion (TPS) pathways utilize a membrane bound β-barrel B component (TpsB) to translocate large and predominantly virulent exoproteins (TpsA) through a nucleotide independent mechanism. We focused our studies on a truncated TpsA member termed hemolysin A (HpmA265), a structurally and functionally characterized TPS domain from Proteus mirabilis. Contrary to the expectation that the TPS domain of HpmA265 would denature in a single cooperative transition, we found that the unfolding follows a sequential model with three distinct transitions linking four states. The solvent inaccessible core of HpmA265 can be divided into two different regions. The C-proximal region contains nonpolar residues and forms a prototypical hydrophobic core as found in globular proteins. The N-proximal region of the solvent inaccessible core, however, contains polar residues. To understand the contributions of the hydrophobic and polar interiors to overall TPS domain stability, we conducted unfolding studies on HpmA265 and site-specific mutants of HpmA265. By correlating the effect of individual site-specific mutations with the sequential unfolding results we were able to divide the HpmA265 TPS domain into polar core, nonpolar core, and C-terminal subdomains. Moreover, the unfolding studies provide quantitative evidence that the folding free energy for the polar core subdomain is more favorable than for the nonpolar core and C-terminal subdomains. This study implicates the hydrogen bonds shared among these conserved internal residues as a primary means for stabilizing the N-proximal polar core subdomain.

Categories: Journal Articles

Insights into electron leakage in the reaction cycle of cytochrome P450 BM3 revealed by kinetic modeling and mutagenesis

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 00:06
Abstract

As a single polypeptide, cytochrome P450 BM3 fuses oxidase and reductase domains and couples each domain's function to perform catalysis with exceptional activity upon binding of substrate for hydroxylation. Mutations introduced into the enzyme to change its substrate specificity often decrease coupling efficiency between the two domains, resulting in unproductive consumption of cofactors and formation of water and/or reactive species. This phenomenon can correlate with leakage, in which P450 BM3 uses electrons from NADPH to reduce oxygen to water and/or reactive species even without bound substrate. The physical basis for leakage is not yet well understood in this particular member of the cytochrome P450 family. To clarify the relationship between leakage and coupling, we used simulations to illustrate how different combinations of kinetic parameters related to substrate-free consumption of NADPH and substrate hydroxylation can lead to either minimal effects on coupling or a dramatic decrease in coupling as a result of leakage. We explored leakage in P450 BM3 by introducing leakage-enhancing mutations and combining these mutations to assess whether doing so increases leakage further. The variants in this study provide evidence that while a transition to high spin may be vital for coupled hydroxylation, it is not required for enhanced leakage; substrate binding and the consequent shift in spin state are not necessary as a redox switch for catalytic oxidation of NADPH. Additionally, the variants in this study suggest a tradeoff between leakage and stability and thus evolvability, as the mutations we investigated were far more deleterious than other mutations that have been used to change substrate specificity.

Categories: Journal Articles

Weak conservation of structural features in the interfaces of homologous transient protein–protein complexes

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 01:20
Abstract

Residue types at the interface of protein–protein complexes (PPCs) are known to be reasonably well conserved. However, we show, using a dataset of known 3-D structures of homologous transient PPCs, that the 3-D location of interfacial residues and their interaction patterns are only moderately and poorly conserved, respectively. Another surprising observation is that a residue at the interface that is conserved is not necessarily in the interface in the homolog. Such differences in homologous complexes are manifested by substitution of the residues that are spatially proximal to the conserved residue and structural differences at the interfaces as well as differences in spatial orientations of the interacting proteins. Conservation of interface location and the interaction pattern at the core of the interfaces is higher than at the periphery of the interface patch. Extents of variability of various structural features reported here for homologous transient PPCs are higher than the variation in homologous permanent homomers. Our findings suggest that straightforward extrapolation of interfacial nature and inter-residue interaction patterns from template to target could lead to serious errors in the modeled complex structure. Understanding the evolution of interfaces provides insights to improve comparative modeling of PPC structures.

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Electrostatic steering enhances the rate of cAMP binding to phosphodiesterase: Brownian dynamics modeling

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 01:16
Abstract

Signaling in cells often involves co-localization of the signaling molecules. Most experimental evidence has shown that intracellular compartmentalization restricts the range of action of the second messenger, 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which is degraded by phosphodiesterases (PDEs). The objective of this study is to understand the details of molecular encounter that may play a role in efficient operation of the cAMP signaling apparatus. The results from electrostatic potential calculations and Brownian dynamics simulations suggest that positive potential of the active site from PDE enhances capture of diffusing cAMP molecules. This electrostatic steering between cAMP and the active site of a PDE plays a major role in the enzyme-substrate encounter, an effect that may be of significance in sequestering cAMP released from a nearby binding site or in attracting more freely diffusing cAMP molecules.

Categories: Journal Articles

Mutations can cause light chains to be too stable or too unstable to form amyloid fibrils

Mon, 09/07/2015 - 05:05
Abstract

Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is an incurable human disease, where the amyloid precursor is a misfolding-prone immunoglobulin light-chain. Here, we identify the role of somatic mutations in the structure, stability and in vitro fibril formation for an amyloidogenic AL-12 protein by restoring four nonconservative mutations to their germline (wild-type) sequence. The single restorative mutations do not affect significantly the native structure, the unfolding pathway, and the reversibility of the protein. However, certain mutations either decrease (H32Y and H70D) or increase (R65S and Q96Y) the protein thermal stability. Interestingly, the most and the least stable mutants, Q96Y and H32Y, do not form amyloid fibrils under physiological conditions. Thus, Q96 and H32 are key residues for AL-12 stability and fibril formation and restoring them to the wild-type residues preclude amyloid formation. The mutants whose equilibrium is shifted to either the native or unfolded states barely sample transient partially folded states, and therefore do not form fibrils. These results agree with previous observations by our laboratory and others that amyloid formation occurs because of the sampling of partially folded states found within the unfolding transition (Blancas-Mejia and Ramirez-Alvarado, Ann Rev Biochem 2013;82:745–774). Here we provide a new insight on the AL amyloidosis mechanism by demonstrating that AL-12 does not follow the established thermodynamic hypothesis of amyloid formation. In this hypothesis, thermodynamically unstable proteins are more prone to amyloid formation. Here we show that within a thermal stability range, the most stable protein in this study is the most amyloidogenic protein.

Categories: Journal Articles

Evaluating the dynamics and electrostatic interactions of folded proteins in implicit solvents

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 04:47
Abstract

Three implicit solvent models, namely GBMVII, FACTS, and SCPISM, were evaluated for their abilities to emulate an explicit solvent environment by comparing the simulated conformational ensembles, dynamics, and electrostatic interactions of the Src SH2 domain and the Lyn kinase domain. This assessment in terms of structural features in folded proteins expands upon the use of hydration energy as a metric for comparison. All-against-all rms coordinate deviation, average positional fluctuations, and ion-pair distance distribution were used to compare the implicit solvent models with the TIP3P explicit solvent model. Our study shows that the Src SH2 domains solvated with TIP3P, GBMVII, and FACTS sample similar global conformations. Additionally, the Src SH2 ion-pair distance distributions of solvent-exposed side chains corresponding to TIP3P, GBMVII, and FACTS do not differ substantially, indicating that GBMVII and FACTS are capable of modeling these electrostatic interactions. The ion-pair distance distributions of SCPISM are distinct from others, demonstrating that these electrostatic interactions are not adequately reproduced with the SCPISM model. On the other hand, for the Lyn kinase domain, a non-globular protein with bilobal structure and a large concavity on the surface, implicit solvent does not accurately model solvation to faithfully reproduce partially buried electrostatic interactions and lobe-lobe conformations. Our work reveals that local structure and dynamics of small, globular proteins are modeled well using FACTS and GBMVII. Nonetheless, global conformations and electrostatic interactions in concavities of multi-lobal proteins resulting from simulations with implicit solvent models do not match those obtained from explicit water simulations.

Categories: Journal Articles

Free energy landscape of a minimalist salt bridge model

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 23:51
Abstract

Salt bridges are essential to protein stability and dynamics. Despite the importance, there has been scarce of detailed discussion on how salt bridge partners interact with each other in distinct solvent exposed environments. In this study, employing a recent generalized orthogonal space tempering (gOST) method, we enabled efficient molecular dynamics simulation of repetitive breaking and reforming of salt bridge structures within a minimalist salt-bridge model, the Asp-Arg dipeptide and thereby were able to map its detailed free energy landscape in aqueous solution. Free energy surface analysis shows that although individually-solvated states are more favorable, salt-bridge states still occupy a noticeable portion of the overall population. Notably, the competing forces, e.g. intercharge attractions that drive the formation of salt bridges and solvation forces that pull the charged groups away from each other, are energetically comparable. As the result, the salt bridge stability is highly tunable by local environments; for instance when local water molecules are perturbed to interact more strongly with each other, the population of the salt-bridge states is likely to increase. Our results reveal the critical role of local solvent structures in modulating salt-bridge partner interactions and imply the importance of water fluctuations on conformational dynamics that involves solvent accessible salt bridge formations.

Categories: Journal Articles

Protein dynamics and the all-ferrous [Fe4S4] cluster in the nitrogenase iron protein

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 01:46
Abstract

In nitrogen fixation by Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase, the iron protein (FeP) binds to and subsequently transfers electrons to the molybdenum–FeP, which contains the nitrogen fixation site, along with hydrolysis of two ATPs. However, the nature of the reduced state cluster is not completely clear. While reduced FeP is generally thought to contain an [Fe4S4]1+ cluster, evidence also exists for an all-ferrous [Fe4S4]0 cluster. Since the former indicates a single electron is transferred per two ATPs hydrolyzed while the latter indicates two electrons could be transferred per two ATPs hydrolyzed, an all-ferrous [Fe4S4]0 cluster in FeP is potenially two times more efficient. However, the 1+/0 reduction potential has been measured in the protein at both 460 and 790 mV, causing the biological significance to be questioned. Here, “density functional theory plus Poisson Boltzmann” calculations show that cluster movement relative to the protein surface observed in the crystal structures could account for both measured values. In addition, elastic network mode analysis indicates that such movement occurs in low frequency vibrations of the protein, implying protein dynamics might lead to variations in reduction potential. Furthermore, the different reductants used in the conflicting measurements of the reduction potential could be differentially affecting the protein dynamics. Moreover, even if the all-ferrous cluster is not the biologically relevant cluster, mutagenesis to stabilize the conformation with the more exposed cluster may be useful for bioengineering more efficient enzymes.

Categories: Journal Articles

Hfqs in Bacillus anthracis: Role of protein sequence variation in the structure and function of proteins in the Hfq family

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 23:59
Abstract

Hfq proteins in Gram-negative bacteria play important roles in bacterial physiology and virulence, mediated by binding of the Hfq hexamer to small RNAs and/or mRNAs to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. However, the physiological role of Hfqs in Gram-positive bacteria is less clear. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, uniquely expresses three distinct Hfq proteins, two from the chromosome (Hfq1, Hfq2) and one from its pXO1 virulence plasmid (Hfq3). The protein sequences of Hfq1 and 3 are evolutionarily distinct from those of Hfq2 and of Hfqs found in other Bacilli. Here, the quaternary structure of each B. anthracis Hfq protein, as produced heterologously in Escherichia coli, was characterized. While Hfq2 adopts the expected hexamer structure, Hfq1 does not form similarly stable hexamers in vitro. The impact on the monomer–hexamer equilibrium of varying Hfq C-terminal tail length and other sequence differences among the Hfqs was examined, and a sequence region of the Hfq proteins that was involved in hexamer formation was identified. It was found that, in addition to the distinct higher-order structures of the Hfq homologs, they give rise to different phenotypes. Hfq1 has a disruptive effect on the function of E. coli Hfq in vivo, while Hfq3 expression at high levels is toxic to E. coli but also partially complements Hfq function in E. coli. These results set the stage for future studies of the roles of these proteins in B. anthracis physiology and for the identification of sequence determinants of phenotypic complementation.

Categories: Journal Articles

Intracellular pH modulates quinary structure

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 23:58
Abstract

NMR spectroscopy can provide information about proteins in living cells. pH is an important characteristic of the intracellular environment because it modulates key protein properties such as net charge and stability. Here, we show that pH modulates quinary interactions, the weak, ubiquitous interactions between proteins and other cellular macromolecules. We use the K10H variant of the B domain of protein G (GB1, 6.2 kDa) as a pH reporter in Escherichia coli cells. By controlling the intracellular pH, we show that quinary interactions influence the quality of in-cell 15N–1H HSQC NMR spectra. At low pH, the quality is degraded because the increase in attractive interactions between E. coli proteins and GB1 slows GB1 tumbling and broadens its crosspeaks. The results demonstrate the importance of quinary interactions for furthering our understanding of protein chemistry in living cells.

Categories: Journal Articles

Assessment of the utility of contact-based restraints in accelerating the prediction of protein structure using molecular dynamics simulations

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 23:57
Abstract

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is a well-established tool for the computational study of protein structure and dynamics, but its application to the important problem of protein structure prediction remains challenging, in part because extremely long timescales can be required to reach the native structure. Here, we examine the extent to which the use of low-resolution information in the form of residue–residue contacts, which can often be inferred from bioinformatics or experimental studies, can accelerate the determination of protein structure in simulation. We incorporated sets of 62, 31, or 15 contact-based restraints in MD simulations of ubiquitin, a benchmark system known to fold to the native state on the millisecond timescale in unrestrained simulations. One-third of the restrained simulations folded to the native state within a few tens of microseconds—a speedup of over an order of magnitude compared with unrestrained simulations and a demonstration of the potential for limited amounts of structural information to accelerate structure determination. Almost all of the remaining ubiquitin simulations reached near-native conformations within a few tens of microseconds, but remained trapped there, apparently due to the restraints. We discuss potential methodological improvements that would facilitate escape from these near-native traps and allow more simulations to quickly reach the native state. Finally, using a target from the Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP) experiment, we show that distance restraints can improve simulation accuracy: In our simulations, restraints stabilized the native state of the protein, enabling a reasonable structural model to be inferred.

Categories: Journal Articles

The structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans manganese superoxide dismutase MnSOD-3-azide complex

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:30
Abstract

C. elegans MnSOD-3 has been implicated in the longevity pathway and its mechanism of catalysis is relevant to the aging process and carcinogenesis. The structures of MnSOD-3 provide unique crystallographic evidence of a dynamic region of the tetrameric interface (residues 41–54). We have determined the structure of the MnSOD-3-azide complex to 1.77-Å resolution. Analysis of this complex shows that the substrate analog, azide, binds end-on to the manganese center as a sixth ligand and that it ligates directly to a third and new solvent molecule also positioned within interacting distance to the His30 and Tyr34 residues of the substrate access funnel. This is the first structure of a eukaryotic MnSOD-azide complex that demonstrates the extended, uninterrupted hydrogen-bonded network that forms a proton relay incorporating three outer sphere solvent molecules, the substrate analog, the gateway residues, Gln142, and the solvent ligand. This configuration supports the formation and release of the hydrogen peroxide product in agreement with the 5-6-5 catalytic mechanism for MnSOD. The high product dissociation constant k4 of MnSOD-3 reflects low product inhibition making this enzyme efficient even at high levels of superoxide.

Categories: Journal Articles

Conformational stability of the RNP domain controls fibril formation of PABPN1

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:29
Abstract

The disease oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy is caused by alanine codon trinucleotide expansions in the N-terminal segment of the nuclear poly(A) binding protein PABPN1. As histochemical features of the disease, intranuclear inclusions of PABPN1 have been reported. Whereas the purified N-terminal domain of PABPN1 forms fibrils in an alanine-dependent way, fibril formation of the full-length protein occurs also in the absence of alanines. Here, we addressed the question whether the stability of the RNP domain or domain swapping within the RNP domain may add to fibril formation. A variant of full-length PABPN1 with a stabilizing disulfide bond at position 185/201 in the RNP domain fibrillized in a redox-sensitive manner suggesting that the integrity of the RNP domain may contribute to fibril formation. Thermodynamic analysis of the isolated wild-type and the disulfide-linked RNP domain showed two state unfolding/refolding characteristics without detectable intermediates. Quantification of the thermodynamic stability of the mutant RNP domain pointed to an inverse correlation between fibril formation of full-length PABPN1 and the stability of the RNP domain.

Categories: Journal Articles

Large-scale identification of membrane proteins with properties favorable for crystallization

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:29
Abstract

Membrane protein crystallography is notoriously difficult due to challenges in protein expression and issues of degradation and structural stability. We have developed a novel method for large-scale screening of native sources for integral membrane proteins that have intrinsic biochemical properties favorable for crystallization. Highly expressed membrane proteins that are thermally stable and nonaggregating in detergent solutions were identified by mass spectrometry from Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Sus scrofa cerebrum. Many of the membrane proteins identified had been crystallized previously, supporting the promise of the approach. Most identified proteins have known functions and include high-value targets such as transporters and ATPases. To validate the method, we recombinantly expressed and purified the yeast protein, Yop1, which is responsible for endoplasmic reticulum curvature. We demonstrate that Yop1 can be purified with the detergent dodecylmaltoside without aggregating.

Categories: Journal Articles

Molecular simulations study of novel 1,4-dihydropyridines derivatives with a high selectivity for Cav3.1 calcium channel

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 05:45
Abstract

1,4-Dihydropyridines (DHPs) have been developed to treat hypertension, angina, and nerve system disease. They are thought to mainly target the L-type calcium channels, but low selectivity prompts them to block Cav1.2 and Cav3.1 channels simultaneously. Recently, some novel DHPs with different hydrophobic groups have been synthesized and among them M12 has a higher selectivity for Cav3.1. However, the structural information about Cav3.1-DHPs complexes is not available in the experiment. Thus, we combined homology modeling, molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and binding free energy calculations to quantitatively elucidate the inhibition mechanism of DHPs. The calculated results indicate that our model is in excellent agreement with experimental results. On the basis of conformational analysis, we identify the main interactions between DHPs and calcium channels and further elaborate on the different selectivity of ligands from the micro perspective. In conjunction with energy distribution, we propose that the binding sites of Cav3.1-DHPs is characterized by several interspersed hydrophobic amino acid residues on the IIIS6 and IVS6 segments. We also speculate the favorable function groups on prospective DHPs. Besides, our model provides important information for further mutagenesis experiments.

Categories: Journal Articles

Differential backbone dynamics of companion helices in the extended helical coiled-coil domain of a bacterial chemoreceptor

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 05:28
Abstract

Cytoplasmic domains of transmembrane bacterial chemoreceptors are largely extended four-helix coiled coils. Previous observations suggested the domain was structurally dynamic. We probed directly backbone dynamics of this domain of the transmembrane chemoreceptor Tar from Escherichia coli using site-directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Spin labels were positioned on solvent-exposed helical faces because EPR spectra for such positions reflect primarily polypeptide backbone movements. We acquired spectra for spin-labeled, intact receptor homodimers solubilized in detergent or inserted into native E. coli lipid bilayers in Nanodiscs, characterizing 16 positions distributed throughout the cytoplasmic domain and on both helices of its helical hairpins, one amino terminal to the membrane-distal tight turn (N-helix), and the other carboxyl terminal (C-helix). Detergent solubilization increased backbone dynamics for much of the domain, suggesting that loss of receptor activities upon solubilization reflects wide-spread destabilization. For receptors in either condition, we observed an unanticipated difference between the N- and C-helices. For bilayer-inserted receptors, EPR spectra from sites in the membrane-distal protein-interaction region and throughout the C-helix were typical of well-structured helices. In contrast, for approximately two-thirds of the N-helix, from its origin as the AS-2 helix of the membrane-proximal HAMP domain to the beginning of the membrane-distal protein-interaction region, spectra had a significantly mobile component, estimated by spectral deconvolution to average approximately 15%. Differential helical dynamics suggests a four-helix bundle organization with a pair of core scaffold helices and two more dynamic partner helices. This newly observed feature of chemoreceptor structure could be involved in receptor function.

Categories: Journal Articles

Heavy metal transport by the CusCFBA efflux system

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 22:47
Abstract

It is widely accepted that the increased use of antibiotics has resulted in bacteria with developed resistance to such treatments. These organisms are capable of forming multi-protein structures that bridge both the inner and outer membrane to expel diverse toxic compounds directly from the cell. Proteins of the resistance nodulation cell division (RND) superfamily typically assemble as tripartite efflux pumps, composed of an inner membrane transporter, a periplasmic membrane fusion protein, and an outer membrane factor channel protein. These machines are the most powerful antimicrobial efflux machinery available to bacteria. In Escherichia coli, the CusCFBA complex is the only known RND transporter with a specificity for heavy metals, detoxifying both Cu+ and Ag+ ions. In this review, we discuss the known structural information for the CusCFBA proteins, with an emphasis on their assembly, interaction, and the relationship between structure and function.

Categories: Journal Articles

Computational scheme for pH-dependent binding free energy calculation with explicit solvent

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 13:17
Abstract

We present a computational scheme to compute the pH-dependence of binding free energy with explicit solvent. Despite the importance of pH, the effect of pH has been generally neglected in binding free energy calculations because of a lack of accurate methods to model it. To address this limitation, we use a constant-pH methodology to obtain a true ensemble of multiple protonation states of a titratable system at a given pH and analyze the ensemble using the Bennett acceptance ratio (BAR) method. The constant pH method is based on the combination of enveloping distribution sampling (EDS) with the Hamiltonian replica exchange method (HREM), which yields an accurate semi-grand canonical ensemble of a titratable system. By considering the free energy change of constraining multiple protonation states to a single state or releasing a single protonation state to multiple states, the pH dependent binding free energy profile can be obtained. We perform benchmark simulations of a host-guest system: cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7]) and benzimidazole (BZ). BZ experiences a large pKa shift upon complex formation. The pH-dependent binding free energy profiles of the benchmark system are obtained with three different long-range interaction calculation schemes: a cutoff, the particle mesh Ewald (PME), and the isotropic periodic sum (IPS) method. Our scheme captures the pH-dependent behavior of binding free energy successfully. Absolute binding free energy values obtained with the PME and IPS methods are consistent, while cutoff method results are off by 2 kcal mol−1. We also discuss the characteristics of three long-range interaction calculation methods for constant-pH simulations.

Categories: Journal Articles

Constructing sequence-dependent protein models using coevolutionary information

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 23:22
Abstract

Recent developments in global statistical methodologies have advanced the analysis of large collections of protein sequences for coevolutionary information. Coevolution between amino acids in a protein arises from compensatory mutations that are needed to maintain the stability or function of a protein over the course of evolution. This gives rise to quantifiable correlations between amino acid sites within the multiple sequence alignment of a protein family. Here, we use the maximum entropy-based approach called mean field Direct Coupling Analysis (mfDCA) to infer a Potts model Hamiltonian governing the correlated mutations in a protein family. We use the inferred pairwise statistical couplings to generate the sequence-dependent heterogeneous interaction energies of a structure-based model (SBM) where only native contacts are considered. Considering the ribosomal S6 protein and its circular permutants as well as the SH3 protein, we demonstrate that these models quantitatively agree with experimental data on folding mechanisms. This work serves as a new framework for generating coevolutionary data-enriched models that can potentially be used to engineer key functional motions and novel interactions in protein systems.

Categories: Journal Articles