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Substantial Conformational Change Mediated by Charge-Triad Residues of the Death Effector Domain in Protein-Protein Interactions

Twomey, Edward Charles; Cordasco, Dana F.; Kozuch, Stephen D.; Wei, Yufeng

Protein conformational changes are commonly associated with the formation of protein complexes. The non-catalytic death effector domains (DEDs) mediate protein-protein interactions in a variety of cellular processes, including apoptosis, proliferation and migration, and glucose metabolism. Here, using NMR residual dipolar coupling (RDC) data, we report a conformational change in the DED of the phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes, 15 kDa (PEA-15) protein in the complex with a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, extracellular regulated kinase 2 (ERK2), which is essential in regulating ERK2 cellular distribution and function in cell proliferation and migration. The most significant conformational change in PEA-15 happens at helices α2, α3, and α4, which also possess the highest flexibility among the six-helix bundle of the DED. This crucial conformational change is modulated by the D/E-RxDL charge-triad motif, one of the prominent structural features of DEDs, together with a number of other electrostatic and hydrogen bonding interactions on the protein surface. Charge-triad motif promotes the optimal orientation of key residues and expands the binding interface to accommodate protein-protein interactions. However, the charge-triad residues are not directly involved in the binding interface between PEA-15 and ERK2.

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Cellular, Molecular and Biophysical Studies
Published Here
November 3, 2016