Article

Structural Determinants of Limited Proteolysis

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
Journal of Proteome Research (Impact Factor: 5). 06/2011; 10(8):3642-51. DOI: 10.1021/pr200271w
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Limited or regulatory proteolysis plays a critical role in many important biological pathways like blood coagulation, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. A better understanding of mechanisms that control this process is required for discovering new proteolytic events and for developing inhibitors with potential therapeutic value. Two features that determine the susceptibility of peptide bonds to proteolysis are the sequence in the vicinity of the scissile bond and the structural context in which the bond is displayed. In this study, we assessed statistical significance and predictive power of individual structural descriptors and combination thereof for the identification of cleavage sites. The analysis was performed on a data set of >200 proteolytic events documented in CutDB for a variety of mammalian regulatory proteases and their physiological substrates with known 3D structures. The results confirmed the significance and provided a ranking within three main categories of structural features: exposure > flexibility > local interactions. Among secondary structure elements, the largest frequency of proteolytic cleavage was confirmed for loops and lower but significant frequency for helices. Limited proteolysis has lower albeit appreciable frequency of occurrence in certain types of β-strands, which is in contrast with some previous reports. Descriptors deduced directly from the amino acid sequence displayed only marginal predictive capabilities. Homology-based structural models showed a predictive performance comparable to protein substrates with experimentally established structures. Overall, this study provided a foundation for accurate automated prediction of segments of protein structure susceptible to proteolytic processing and, potentially, other post-translational modifications.

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Available from: Ying Zhang, Mar 20, 2014
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