Decipher the Mechanisms of Protein Conformational Changes Induced by Nucleotide Binding through Free-Energy Landscape Analysis: ATP Binding to Hsp70

Nicolaï, Adrien; Delarue, Patrice; Senet, Patrick
December 2013
PLoS Computational Biology;Dec2013, Vol. 9 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
ATP regulates the function of many proteins in the cell by transducing its binding and hydrolysis energies into protein conformational changes by mechanisms which are challenging to identify at the atomic scale. Based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, a method is proposed to analyze the structural changes induced by ATP binding to a protein by computing the effective free-energy landscape (FEL) of a subset of its coordinates along its amino-acid sequence. The method is applied to characterize the mechanism by which the binding of ATP to the nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) of Hsp70 propagates a signal to its substrate-binding domain (SBD). Unbiased MD simulations were performed for Hsp70-DnaK chaperone in nucleotide-free, ADP-bound and ATP-bound states. The simulations revealed that the SBD does not interact with the NBD for DnaK in its nucleotide-free and ADP-bound states whereas the docking of the SBD was found in the ATP-bound state. The docked state induced by ATP binding found in MD is an intermediate state between the initial nucleotide-free and final ATP-bound states of Hsp70. The analysis of the FEL projected along the amino-acid sequence permitted to identify a subset of 27 protein internal coordinates corresponding to a network of 91 key residues involved in the conformational change induced by ATP binding. Among the 91 residues, 26 are identified for the first time, whereas the others were shown relevant for the allosteric communication of Hsp70 s in several experiments and bioinformatics analysis. The FEL analysis revealed also the origin of the ATP-induced structural modifications of the SBD recently measured by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. The pathway between the nucleotide-free and the intermediate state of DnaK was extracted by applying principal component analysis to the subset of internal coordinates describing the transition. The methodology proposed is general and could be applied to analyze allosteric communication in other proteins.


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