ABSTRACT: Soluble proteins with amyloidogenic propensity such as the tumor suppressor protein p53 have high proportion of incompletely desolvated backbone H bonds (HB). Such bonds are vulnerable to water attack, thus potentially leading to the misfolding of these proteins. However, it is still not clear how the surrounding solvent influences the protein native states. To address this, systematic surveys by molecular dynamics simulations and entropy analysis were performed on the p53 core domain in this work. We examined seven wild/mutant X-ray structures and observed two types of water-network hydration in three "hot hydration centers" (DNA- or small molecule- binding surfaces of the p53 core domain). The "tight" water, resulting from the local collective hydrogen-bond interactions, is probably fundamental to the protein structural stability. The second type of water is highly "dynamical" and exchanges very fast within the bulk solution, which is unambiguously assisted by the local protein motions. An entropy mapping of the solvent around the protein and a temperature perturbation analysis further present the main features of the p53 hydration network. The particular environment created by different water molecules around the p53 core domain also partly explains the structural vulnerabilities of this protein.
Journal of Structural Biology 12/2011; 177(2):358-66. · 3.41 Impact Factor