Rotamer libraries and probabilities of transition between rotamers for the side chains in protein-protein binding

Center for Bioinformatics, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66047, USA.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics (Impact Factor: 2.63). 08/2012; 80(8):2089-98. DOI: 10.1002/prot.24103
Source: PubMed


Conformational changes in the side chains are essential for protein-protein binding. Rotameric states and unbound- to-bound conformational changes in the surface residues were systematically studied on a representative set of protein complexes. The side-chain conformations were mapped onto dihedral angles space. The variable threshold algorithm was developed to cluster the dihedral angle distributions and to derive rotamers, defined as the most probable conformation in a cluster. Six rotamer libraries were generated: full surface, surface noninterface, and surface interface-each for bound and unbound states. The libraries were used to calculate the probabilities of the rotamer transitions upon binding. The stability of amino acids was quantified based on the transition maps. The noninterface residues' stability was higher than that of the interface. Long side chains with three or four dihedral angles were less stable than the shorter ones. The transitions between the rotamers at the interface occurred more frequently than on the noninterface surface. Most side chains changed conformation within the same rotamer or moved to an adjacent rotamer. The highest percentage of the transitions was observed primarily between the two most occupied rotamers. The probability of the transition between rotamers increased with the decrease of the rotamer stability. The analysis revealed characteristics of the surface side-chain conformational transitions that can be utilized in flexible docking protocols.

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    • "The two-fold difference in the critical grid spacing indicates larger changes at the interface than on the rest of the surface. While the earlier studies [18,24,25] observed this trend for the side-chain rotamers, this study validates it by a more general approach based on the DADFs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Protein interactions play a key role in life processes. Characterization of conformational properties of protein-protein interactions is important for understanding the mechanisms of protein association. The rapidly increasing amount of experimentally determined structures of proteins and protein-protein complexes provides foundation for research on protein interactions and complex formation. The knowledge of the conformations of the surface side chains is essential for modeling of protein complexes. The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare dihedral angle distribution functions of the side chains at the interface and non-interface areas in bound and unbound proteins. To calculate the dihedral angle distribution functions, the configuration space was divided into grid cells. Statistical analysis showed that the similarity between bound and unbound interface and non-interface surface depends on the amino acid type and the grid resolution. The correlation coefficients between the distribution functions increased with the grid spacing increase for all amino acid types. The Manhattan distance showing the degree of dissimilarity between the distribution functions decreased accordingly. Short residues with one or two dihedral angles had higher correlations and smaller Manhattan distances than the longer residues. Met and Arg had the slowest growth of the correlation coefficient with the grid spacing increase. The correlations between the interface and non-interface distribution functions had a similar dependence on the grid resolution in both bound and unbound states. The interface and non-interface differences between bound and unbound distribution functions, caused by biological protein-protein interactions or crystal contacts, disappeared at the 70° grid spacing for interfaces and 30° for non-interface surface, which agrees with an average span of the side-chain rotamers. The two-fold difference in the critical grid spacing indicates larger conformational changes upon binding at the interface than at the rest of the surface. At the same time, transitions between rotamers induced by interactions across the interface or the crystal packing are rare, with most side chains having local readjustments that do not change the rotameric state. The analysis is important for better understanding of protein interactions and development of flexible docking approaches.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · BMC Bioinformatics
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    ABSTRACT: The accurate design of new protein-protein interactions is a longstanding goal of computational protein design. However, most computationally designed interfaces fail to form experimentally. This investigation compares five previously described successful de novo interface designs with 158 failures. Both sets of proteins were designed with the molecular modeling program Rosetta. Designs were considered a success if a high-resolution crystal structure of the complex closely matched the design model and the equilibrium dissociation constant for binding was less than 10μM. The successes and failures represent a wide variety of interface types and design goals including heterodimers, homodimers, peptide-protein interactions, one-sided designs (i.e. where only one of the proteins was mutated) and two-sided designs. The most striking feature of the successful designs is that they have fewer polar atoms at their interfaces than many of the failed designs. Designs that attempted to create extensive sets of interface-spanning hydrogen bonds resulted in no detectable binding. In contrast, polar atoms make up more than 40% of the interface area of many natural dimers, and native interfaces often contain extensive hydrogen bonding networks. These results suggest that Rosetta may not be accurately balancing hydrogen bonding and electrostatic energies against desolvation penalties and that design processes may not include sufficient sampling to identify side chains in pre-ordered conformations that can fully satisfy the hydrogen bonding potential of the interface.
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