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Title: Atom depth analysis delineates mechanisms of protein intermolecular interactions

Highlights: •3D atom depth analysis is proposed to identify different layers in protein structures. •Amino acid contents for each layers have been analyzed for a large protein dataset. •Charged amino acids in the most external layer are present at very different extents. •Atom depth indexes of K residues reflect their side chains flexibility. •Mobile surface charges can be responsible for long range protein–protein recognition. -- Abstract: The systematic analysis of amino acid distribution, performed inside a large set of resolved protein structures, sheds light on possible mechanisms driving non random protein–protein approaches. Protein Data Bank entries have been selected using as filters a series of restrictions ensuring that the shape of protein surface is not modified by interactions with large or small ligands. 3D atom depth has been evaluated for all the atoms of the 2,410 selected structures. The amino acid relative population in each of the structural layers formed by grouping atoms on the basis of their calculated depths, has been evaluated. We have identified seven structural layers, the inner ones reproducing the core of proteins and the outer one incorporating their most protruding moieties. Quantitative analysis of amino acid contents of structural layers identified, as expected, different behaviors.more » Atoms of Q, R, K, N, D residues are increasingly more abundant in going from core to surfaces. An opposite trend is observed for V, I, L, A, C, and G. An intermediate behavior is exhibited by P, S, T, M, W, H, F and Y. The outer structural layer hosts predominantly E and K residues whose charged moieties, protruding from outer regions of the protein surface, reorient free from steric hindrances, determining specific electrodynamics maps. This feature may represent a protein signature for long distance effects, driving the formation of encounter complexes and the eventual short distance approaches that are required for protein–protein functional interactions.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, via A. Fiorentina 1, 53100 Siena (Italy)
  2. (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications; Journal Volume: 436; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States