Sergi Lois

IMPPC Institute of Predictive and Personalized Cancer Medicine, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (3)10.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown how alternative splicing (AS), the process by which eukaryotic genes express more than one product, affects protein sequence and structure. However, little information is available on the impact of AS on protein dynamics, a property fundamental for protein function. In this work, we have addressed this issue using molecular dynamics simulations of the isoforms of two model proteins: glutathione S-transferase and ectodysplasin-A. We have found that AS does not have a noticeable impact on global or local structure fluctuations. We have also found that, quite interestingly, AS has a significant effect on the coupling between key structural elements such as surface cavities. Our results provide the first atom-level view of the impact of AS on protein dynamics, as far as we know. They can contribute to refine our present view of the relationship between AS and protein disorder and, more importantly, they reveal how AS may modify structural dynamic couplings in proteins.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 05/2012; 80(9):2235-49. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Structural characterization of the interaction between histone tails and effector modules (bromodomains, chromodomains, PHD fingers, etc.) is fundamental to understand the mechanistic aspects of epigenetic regulation of gene expression. In recent years many researchers have applied this approach to specific systems, thus providing a valuable but fragmentary view of the histone-effector interaction. In our work we use this information to characterize the structural features of the two main components of this interaction, histone peptides and the binding site of effector domains (focusing on those which target modified lysines), and increase our knowledge on its specificity determinants. Our results show that the binding sites of effectors are structurally variable, but some clear trends allow their classification in three main groups: flat-groove, narrow-groove and cavity-insertion. In addition, we found that even within these classes binding site variability is substantial. These results in context with the work from other researchers indicate that the there are at least two determinants of binding specificity in the binding site of effector modules. Finally, our analysis of the histone peptides sheds light on the structural transition experienced by histone tails upon effector binding, showing that it may vary depending on the local properties of the sequence stretch considered, thus allowing us to identify an additional specificity determinant for this interaction. Overall, the results of our analysis contribute to clarify the origins of specificity: different regions of the binding site and, in particular, differences in the disorder-order transitions experienced by different histone sequence stretches upon binding.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 02/2010; 5(2):137-48. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comparative, or homology, modelling of protein structures is the most widely used prediction method when the target protein has homologues of known structure. Given that the quality of a model may vary greatly, several studies have been devoted to identifying the factors that influence modelling results. These studies usually consider the protein as a whole, and only a few provide a separate discussion of the behaviour of biologically relevant features of the protein. Given the value of the latter for many applications, here we extended previous work by analysing the preservation of native protein clefts in homology models. We chose to examine clefts because of their role in protein function/structure, as they are usually the locus of protein-protein interactions, host the enzymes' active site, or, in the case of protein domains, can also be the locus of domain-domain interactions that lead to the structure of the whole protein. We studied how the largest cleft of a protein varies in comparative models. To this end, we analysed a set of 53507 homology models that cover the whole sequence identity range, with a special emphasis on medium and low similarities. More precisely we examined how cleft quality - measured using six complementary parameters related to both global shape and local atomic environment, depends on the sequence identity between target and template proteins. In addition to this general analysis, we also explored the impact of a number of factors on cleft quality, and found that the relationship between quality and sequence identity varies depending on cleft rank amongst the set of protein clefts (when ordered according to size), and number of aligned residues. We have examined cleft quality in homology models at a range of levels. Our results provide a detailed view of how quality is affected by distinct parameters and thus may help the user of comparative modelling to determine the final quality and applicability of his/her cleft models. In addition, the large variability in model quality that we observed within each sequence bin, with good models present even at low sequence identities (between 20% and 30%), indicates that properly developed identification methods could be used to recover good cleft models in this sequence range.
    BMC Structural Biology 02/2008; 8:2. · 2.10 Impact Factor