Jan 10, 2007

2007 week 03: Articles in Folding


Modelling of the ABL and ARG proteins predicts two functionally critical regions that are natively unfolded
The ABL and ARG tyrosine kinases regulate many pivotal cellular processes and are implicated in the pathogenesis of several forms of leukemia. We have modelled the previously uncharacterized core domain (SH3-SH2-tyrosine kinase) and C-terminal actin-binding domain of ARG. We have also investigated the structural arrangement of the ABL and ARG Cap region and of the long multifunctional region located downstream of the tyrosine kinase domain. We report that the ARG core domain is homologous to the corresponding ABL region, therefore suggesting that ARG catalytic activity is likely regulated by the same SH3-SH2 clamp described for ABL. We also report that the Cap of both ABL and ARG is natively unfolded. Hence, biological events determining the folding of the Cap are critical to allow its interaction with the tyrosine kinase C-lobe. Furthermore, our results show that, with the exception of the C-terminal actin-binding domain, the entire region encoded by the ABL and ARG last exon is natively unfolded. Phosphorylation events or protein-protein interactions regulating the folding of this region will therefore modulate the activity of its numerous functional domains. Finally, our analyses show that the C-terminal actin-binding domain of ARG displays a four-helix bundle structure similar to the one reported for the corresponding ABL region. Our findings imply that many biological activities attributed to ABL, ARG, and their oncogenic counterparts are regulated by natively unfolded regions. Proteins 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Secondary structure length as a determinant of folding rate of proteins with two- and three-state kinetics
We present a simple method for determining the folding rates of two- and three-state proteins from the number of residues in their secondary structures (secondary structure length). The method is based on the hypothesis that two- and three-state foldings share a common pattern. Three-state proteins first condense into metastable intermediates, subsequent forming of [alpha]-helices, turns, and [beta]-sheets at slow rate-limiting step. The folding rate of such proteins anticorrelate with the length of these [beta]-secondary structures. It is also assumed that in two-state folding, rapidly folded [alpha]-helices and turns may facilitate formation of fleeting unobservable "intermediates" and thus show two-state behavior. There is an inverse relationship between the folding rate and the length of [beta]-sheets and loops. Our study achieves 94.0 and 88.1% correlations with folding rates determined experimentally for 21 three- and 38 two-state proteins, respectively, suggesting that protein-folding rates are determined by the secondary structure length. The kinetic kinds are selected on the basis of a competitive formation of hydrophobic collapse and [alpha]-structure in early intermediates. Proteins 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Contact patterns between helices and strands of sheet define protein folding patterns
Comparing and classifying protein folding patterns allows organizing the known structures and enumerating possible protein structural patterns including those not yet observed. We capture the essence of protein folding patterns in a concise tableau representation based on the order and contact patterns of secondary structures: helices and strands of sheet. The tableaux are intelligible to both humans and computers. They provide a database, derived from the Protein Data Bank, mineable in studies of protein architecture. Using this database, we have: (i) determined statistical properties of secondary structure contacts in an unbiased set of protein domains from ASTRAL, (ii) observed that in 98% of cases, the tableau is a faithful representation of the folding pattern as classified in SCOP, (iii) demonstrated that to a large extent the local structure of proteins indicates their complete folding topology, and (iv) studied the use of the representation for fold identification. Proteins 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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