Beta-sheet capping: signals that initiate and terminate beta-sheet formation.
ABSTRACT In the present work, we address the question of whether different amino acids have different beta-sheet initiating and terminating characteristics. Using a large scale analysis of parallel and antiparallel beta-sheets in a non-redundant dataset of proteins, we observed that most of the amino acids show significant under- or over-representation in at least one of the positions at the two ends of beta-sheets, which are denoted as N-cap and C-cap. In addition, based on statistical data and structural comparison, we found that certain amino acids, especially Asp, Asn, Gly and Pro have strong tendencies to block beta-sheet continuation. Hence, we can consider these residues as beta-sheet terminators. It was also proposed that the dipole moments in parallel beta-sheets, whose direction is from C-terminal (partially negative) to N-terminal (partially positive), are much stronger than has previously been suggested. In fact, enhancement of dipole moments in parallel beta-sheets is a result of the positioning of positively charged residues at N-cap and negatively charged residues at C-cap. This enhancement in dipole moment magnitude leads to strengthened dipolar interactions between parallel beta-sheets dipoles and other partners especially alpha-helices dipoles. The results provide an explanation for the antiparallel alignment of parallel beta-sheets with alpha-helices.
Article: Developing a powerful in silico tool for the discovery of novel caspase-3 substrates: a preliminary screening of the human proteome.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Caspases are a family of cysteinyl proteases that regulate apoptosis and other biological processes. Caspase-3 is considered the central executioner member of this family with a wide range of substrates. Identification of caspase-3 cellular targets is crucial to gain further insights into the cellular mechanisms that have been implicated in various diseases including: cancer, neurodegenerative, and immunodeficiency diseases. To date, over 200 caspase-3 substrates have been identified experimentally. However, many are still awaiting discovery. Here, we describe a powerful bioinformatics tool that can predict the presence of caspase-3 cleavage sites in a given protein sequence using a Position-Specific Scoring Matrix (PSSM) approach. The present tool, which we call CAT3, was built using 227 confirmed caspase-3 substrates that were carefully extracted from the literature. Assessing prediction accuracy using 10 fold cross validation, our method shows AUC (area under the ROC curve) of 0.94, sensitivity of 88.83%, and specificity of 89.50%. The ability of CAT3 in predicting the precise cleavage site was demonstrated in comparison to existing state-of-the-art tools. In contrast to other tools which were trained on cleavage sites of various caspases as well as other similar proteases, CAT3 showed a significant decrease in the false positive rate. This cost effective and powerful feature makes CAT3 an ideal tool for high-throughput screening to identify novel caspase-3 substrates. The developed tool, CAT3, was used to screen 13,066 human proteins with assigned gene ontology terms. The analyses revealed the presence of many potential caspase-3 substrates that are not yet described. The majority of these proteins are involved in signal transduction, regulation of cell adhesion, cytoskeleton organization, integrity of the nucleus, and development of nerve cells. CAT3 is a powerful tool that is a clear improvement over existing similar tools, especially in reducing the false positive rate. Human proteome screening, using CAT3, indicate the presence of a large number of possible caspase-3 substrates that exceed the anticipated figure. In addition to their involvement in various expected functions such as cytoskeleton organization, nuclear integrity and adhesion, a large number of the predicted substrates are remarkably associated with the development of nerve tissues.BMC Bioinformatics 01/2012; 13:14. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of β-strands as main building blocks in proteins, the propensity of amino acid in β-strands is not well-understood as it has been more difficult to determine experimentally compared to α-helices. Recent studies have shown that most of the amino acids have significantly high or low propensity towards both ends of β-strands. However, a comprehensive analysis of the sequence dependent amino acid propensities at positions between the ends of the β-strand has not been investigated. The propensities of the amino acids calculated from a large non-redundant database of proteins are found to be highly position-specific and vary continuously throughout the length of the β-strand. They follow an unexpected characteristic periodic pattern in inner positions with respect to the cap residues in both termini of β-strands; this periodic nature is markedly different from that of the α-helices with respect to the strength and pattern in periodicity. This periodicity is not only different for different amino acids but it also varies considerably for the amino acids belonging to the same physico-chemical group. Average hydrophobicity is also found to be periodic with respect to the positions from both termini of β-strands. The results contradict the earlier perception of isotropic nature of amino acid propensities in the middle region of β-strands. These position-specific propensities should be of immense help in understanding the factors responsible for β-strand design and efficient prediction of β-strand structure in unknown proteins.BMC Structural Biology 09/2010; 10:29. · 2.48 Impact Factor
Article: Beta-strand interfaces of non-dimeric protein oligomers are characterized by scattered charged residue patterns.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Protein oligomers are formed either permanently, transiently or even by default. The protein chains are associated through intermolecular interactions constituting the protein interface. The protein interfaces of 40 soluble protein oligomers of stœchiometries above two are investigated using a quantitative and qualitative methodology, which analyzes the x-ray structures of the protein oligomers and considers their interfaces as interaction networks. The protein oligomers of the dataset share the same geometry of interface, made by the association of two individual β-strands (β-interfaces), but are otherwise unrelated. The results show that the β-interfaces are made of two interdigitated interaction networks. One of them involves interactions between main chain atoms (backbone network) while the other involves interactions between side chain and backbone atoms or between only side chain atoms (side chain network). Each one has its own characteristics which can be associated to a distinct role. The secondary structure of the β-interfaces is implemented through the backbone networks which are enriched with the hydrophobic amino acids favored in intramolecular β-sheets (MCWIV). The intermolecular specificity is provided by the side chain networks via positioning different types of charged residues at the extremities (arginine) and in the middle (glutamic acid and histidine) of the interface. Such charge distribution helps discriminating between sequences of intermolecular β-strands, of intramolecular β-strands and of β-strands forming β-amyloid fibers. This might open new venues for drug designs and predictive tool developments. Moreover, the β-strands of the cholera toxin B subunit interface, when produced individually as synthetic peptides, are capable of inhibiting the assembly of the toxin into pentamers. Thus, their sequences contain the features necessary for a β-interface formation. Such β-strands could be considered as 'assemblons', independent associating units, by homology to the foldons (independent folding unit). Such property would be extremely valuable in term of assembly inhibitory drug development.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e32558. · 4.09 Impact Factor