Local Conformational Changes in the DNA Interfaces of Proteins

Sunami, Tomoko; Kono, Hidetoshi
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
When a protein binds to DNA, a conformational change is often induced so that the protein will fit into the DNA structure. Therefore, quantitative analyses were conducted to understand the conformational changes in proteins. The results showed that conformational changes in DNA interfaces are more frequent than in non-interfaces, and DNA interfaces have more conformational variations in the DNA-free form. As expected, the former indicates that interaction with DNA has some influence on protein structure. The latter suggests that the intrinsic conformational flexibility of DNA interfaces is important for adjusting their conformation for DNA. The amino acid propensities of the conformationally changed regions in DNA interfaces indicate that hydrophilic residues are preferred over the amino acids that appear in the conformationally unchanged regions. This trend is true for disordered regions, suggesting again that intrinsic flexibility is of importance not only for DNA binding but also for interactions with other molecules. These results demonstrate that fragments destined to be DNA interfaces have an intrinsic flexibility and are composed of amino acids with the capability of binding to DNA. This information suggests that the prediction of DNA binding sites may be improved by the integration of amino acid preference for DNA and one for disordered regions.


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