Reference: Mittag T, et al. (2010) Protein dynamics and conformational disorder in molecular recognition. J Mol Recognit 23(2):105-16

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Abstract

Recognition requires protein flexibility because it facilitates conformational rearrangements and induced-fit mechanisms upon target binding. Intrinsic disorder is an extreme on the continuous spectrum of possible protein dynamics and its role in recognition may seem counterintuitive. However, conformational disorder is widely found in many eukaryotic regulatory proteins involved in processes such as signal transduction and transcription. Disordered protein regions may in fact confer advantages over folded proteins in binding. Rapidly interconverting and diverse conformers may create mean electrostatic fields instead of presenting discrete charges. The resultant "polyelectrostatic" interactions allow for the utilization of post-translational modifications as a means to change the net charge and thereby modify the electrostatic interaction of a disordered region. Plasticity of disordered protein states enables steric advantages over folded proteins and allows for unique binding configurations. Disorder may also have evolutionary advantages, as it facilitates alternative splicing, domain shuffling and protein modularity. As proteins exist in a continuous spectrum of disorder, so do their complexes. Indeed, disordered regions in complexes may control the degree of motion between domains, mask binding sites, be targets of post-translational modifications, permit overlapping binding motifs, and enable transient binding of different binding partners, making them excellent candidates for signal integrators and explaining their prevalence in eukaryotic signaling pathways. "Dynamic" complexes arise if more than two transient protein interfaces are involved in complex formation of two binding partners in a dynamic equilibrium. "Disordered" complexes, in contrast, do not involve significant ordering of interacting protein segments but rely exclusively on transient contacts. The nature of these interactions is not well understood yet but advancements in the structural characterization of disordered states will help us gain insights into their function and their implications for health and disease.CI - 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Review | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Authors
Mittag T, Kay LE, Forman-Kay JD
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