Molecular Basis of Calcium-Sensitizing and Desensitizing Mutations of the Human Cardiac Troponin C Regulatory Domain: A Multi-Scale Simulation Study

Fox Chase Cancer Center, United States of America
PLoS Computational Biology (Impact Factor: 4.83). 11/2012; 8(11):e1002777. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002777
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Troponin C (TnC) is implicated in the initiation of myocyte contraction via binding of cytosolic [Formula: see text] and subsequent recognition of the Troponin I switch peptide. Mutations of the cardiac TnC N-terminal regulatory domain have been shown to alter both calcium binding and myofilament force generation. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of engineered TnC variants that increase or decrease [Formula: see text] sensitivity, in order to understand the structural basis of their impact on TnC function. We will use the distinction for mutants that are associated with increased [Formula: see text] affinity and for those mutants with reduced affinity. Our studies demonstrate that for GOF mutants V44Q and L48Q, the structure of the physiologically-active site II [Formula: see text] binding site in the [Formula: see text] -free (apo) state closely resembled the [Formula: see text] -bound (holo) state. In contrast, site II is very labile for LOF mutants E40A and V79Q in the apo form and bears little resemblance with the holo conformation. We hypothesize that these phenomena contribute to the increased association rate, [Formula: see text], for the GOF mutants relative to LOF. Furthermore, we observe significant positive and negative positional correlations between helices in the GOF holo mutants that are not found in the LOF mutants. We anticipate these correlations may contribute either directly to [Formula: see text] affinity or indirectly through TnI association. Our observations based on the structure and dynamics of mutant TnC provide rationale for binding trends observed in GOF and LOF mutants and will guide the development of inotropic drugs that target TnC.

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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac troponin (cTn) is a key molecule in the regulation of human cardiac muscle contraction. The N-terminal cardiac-specific peptide of the inhibitory subunit of troponin, cTnI (cTnI1-39), is a target for phosphorylation by protein kinase A (PKA) during β-adrenergic stimulation. We recently presented evidence indicating that this peptide interacts with the inhibitory peptide (cTnl137-147) when S23 and S24 are phosphorylated. The inhibitory peptide is also the target of the point mutation cTnI-R145G, which is associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease associated with sudden death in apparently healthy young adults. It has been shown that both phosphorylation and this mutation alter the cTnC-cTnI (C-I) interaction, which plays a crucial role in modulating contractile activation. However, little is known about the molecular-level events underlying this modulation. Here, we computationally investigated the effects of the cTnI-R145G mutation on the dynamics of cTn, cTnC Ca(2+) handling, and the C-I interaction. Comparisons were made with the cTnI-R145G/S23D/S24D phosphomimic mutation, which has been used both experimentally and computationally to study the cTnI N-terminal specific effects of PKA phosphorylation. Additional comparisons between the phosphomimic mutations and the real phosphorylations were made. For this purpose, we ran triplicate 150 ns molecular dynamics simulations of cTnI-R145G Ca(2+)-bound cTnC1-161-cTnI1-172-cTnT236-285, cTnI-R145G/S23D/S24D Ca(2+)-bound cTnC1-161-cTnI1-172-cTnT236-285, and cTnI-R145G/PS23/PS24 Ca(2+)-bound cTnC1-161-cTnI1-172-cTnT236-285, respectively. We found that the cTnI-R145G mutation did not impact the overall dynamics of cTn, but stabilized crucial Ca(2+)-coordinating interactions. However, the phosphomimic mutations increased overall cTn fluctuations and destabilized Ca(2+) coordination. Interestingly, cTnI-R145G blunted the intrasubunit interactions between the cTnI N-terminal extension and the cTnI inhibitory peptide, which have been suggested to play a crucial role in modulating troponin function during β-adrenergic stimulation. These findings offer a molecular-level explanation for how the HCM mutation cTnI-R145G reduces the modulation of cTn by phosphorylation of S23/S24 during β-adrenergic stimulation. Copyright © 2015 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    ABSTRACT: During β-adrenergic stimulation, cardiac troponin I (cTnI) is phosphorylated by protein kinase A (PKA) at sites S23/S24, located at the N-terminus of cTnI. This phosphorylation has been shown to decrease KCa and pCa50, and weaken the cTnC-cTnI (C-I) interaction. We recently reported that phosphorylation results in an increase in the rate of early, slow phase of relaxation (kREL,slow) and a decrease in its duration (tREL,slow), which speeds up the overall relaxation. However, as the N-terminus of cTnI (residues 1-40) has not been resolved in the whole cardiac troponin (cTn) structure, little is known about the molecular-level behavior within the whole cTn complex upon phosphorylation of the S23/S24 residues of cTnI that results in these changes in function. In this study, we built up the cTn complex structure (including residues cTnC 1-161, cTnI 1-172, and cTnT 236-285) with the N-terminus of cTnI. We performed molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations to elucidate the structural basis of PKA phosphorylation-induced changes in cTn structure and Ca(2+) binding. We found that introducing two phosphomimic mutations into sites S23/S24 had no significant effect on the coordinating residues of Ca(2+) binding site II. However, the overall fluctuation of cTn was increased and the C-I interaction was altered relative to the wild-type model. The most significant changes involved interactions with the N-terminus of cTnI. Interestingly, the phosphomimic mutations led to the formation of intrasubunit interactions between the N-terminus and the inhibitory peptide of cTnI. This may result in altered interactions with cTnC and could explain the increased rate and decreased duration of slow-phase relaxation seen in myofibrils.
    Biophysical Journal 10/2014; 107(7):1675-1685. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2014.08.008 · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tyrosine kinases are regarded as excellent targets for chemical drug therapy of carcinomas. However, under strong purifying selection, drug resistance usually occurs in the cancer cells within a short term. Many cases of drug resistance have been found to be associated with secondary mutations in drug target, which lead to the attenuated drug-target interactions. For example, recently, an acquired secondary mutation, G2032R, has been detected in the drug target, ROS1 tyrosine kinase, from a crizotinib-resistant patient, who responded poorly to crizotinib within a very short therapeutic term. It was supposed that the mutation was located at the solvent front and might hinder the drug binding. However, a different fact could be uncovered by the simulations reported in this study. Here, free energy surfaces were characterized by the drug-target distance and the phosphate-binding loop (P-loop) conformational change of the crizotinib-ROS1 complex through advanced molecular dynamics techniques, and it was revealed that the more rigid P-loop region in the G2032R-mutated ROS1 was primarily responsible for the crizotinib resistance, which on one hand, impaired the binding of crizotinib directly, and on the other hand, shortened the residence time induced by the flattened free energy surface. Therefore, both of the binding affinity and the drug residence time should be emphasized in rational drug design to overcome the kinase resistance.
    PLoS Computational Biology 07/2014; 10(7):e1003729. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003729 · 4.83 Impact Factor


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