The role of entropy and polarity in intermolecular contacts in protein crystals.
ABSTRACT: The integrity and X-ray diffraction quality of protein crystals depend on the three-dimensional order of relatively weak but reproducible intermolecular contacts. Despite their importance, relatively little attention has been paid to the chemical and physical nature of these contacts, which are often regarded as stochastic and thus not different from randomly selected protein surface patches. Here, logistic regression was used to analyze crystal contacts in a database of 821 unambiguously monomeric proteins with structures determined to 2.5 A resolution or better. It is shown that the propensity of a surface residue for incorporation into a crystal contact is not a linear function of its solvent-accessible surface area and that amino acids with low exposed surfaces, which are typically small and hydrophobic, have been underestimated with respect to their contact-forming potential by earlier area-based calculations. For any given solvent-exposed surface, small and hydrophobic residues are more likely to be involved in crystal contacts than large and charged amino acids. Side-chain entropy is the single physicochemical property that is most negatively correlated with the involvement of amino acids in crystal contacts. It is also shown that crystal contacts with larger buried surfaces containing eight or more amino acids have cores that are depleted of polar amino acids.
Project description:We introduce a method for discriminating correctly folded proteins from well designed decoy structures using atom-atom and atom-solvent contact surfaces. The measure used to quantify contact surfaces integrates the solvent accessible surface and interatomic contacts into one quantity, allowing solvent to be treated as an atom contact. A scoring function was derived from statistical contact preferences within known protein structures and validated by using established protein decoy sets, including the "Rosetta" decoys and data from the CASP4 structure predictions. The scoring function effectively distinguished native structures from all corresponding decoys in >90% of the cases, using isolated protein subunits as target structures. If contacts between subunits within quaternary structures are included, the accuracy increases to 97%. Interactions beyond atom-atom contact range were not required to distinguish native structures from the decoys using this method. The contact scoring performed as well or better than existing statistical and physicochemical potentials and may be applied as an independent means of evaluating putative structural models.
Project description:The analysis of protein structures provides plenty of information about the factors governing the folding and stability of proteins, the preferred amino acids in the protein environment, the location of the residues in the interior/surface of a protein and so forth. In general, hydrophobic residues such as Val, Leu, Ile, Phe, and Met tend to be buried in the interior and polar side chains exposed to solvent. The present work depends on sequence as well as structural information of the protein and aims to understand nature of hydrophobic residues on the protein surfaces. It is based on the nonredundant data set of 218 monomeric proteins. Solvent accessibility of each protein was determined using NACCESS software and then obtained the homologous sequences to understand how well solvent exposed and buried hydrophobic residues are evolutionarily conserved and assigned the confidence scores to hydrophobic residues to be buried or solvent exposed based on the information obtained from conservation score and knowledge of flanking regions of hydrophobic residues. In the absence of a three-dimensional structure, the ability to predict surface accessibility of hydrophobic residues directly from the sequence is of great help in choosing the sites of chemical modification or specific mutations and in the studies of protein stability and molecular interactions.
Project description:A Monte Carlo algorithm was developed to predict the most likely orientations of protein G B1, an immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody-binding domain of protein G, adsorbed onto a hydrophobic surface. At each Monte Carlo step, the protein was rotated and translated as a rigid body. The assumption about rigidity was supported by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring experiments, which indicated that protein G B1 adsorbed on a polystyrene surface with its native structure conserved and showed that its IgG antibody-binding activity was retained. The Monte Carlo simulations predicted that protein G B1 is likely adsorbed onto a hydrophobic surface in two different orientations, characterized as two mutually exclusive sets of amino acids contacting the surface. This was consistent with sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy results. In fact, theoretical SFG spectra calculated from an equal combination of the two predicted orientations exhibited reasonable agreement with measured spectra of protein G B1 on polystyrene surfaces. Also, in explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations, protein G B1 maintained its predicted orientation in three out of four runs. This work shows that using a Monte Carlo approach can provide an accurate estimate of a protein orientation on a hydrophobic surface, which complements experimental surface analysis techniques and provides an initial system to study the interaction between a protein and a surface in molecular dynamics simulations.
Project description:Surface free energy of a chemically heterogeneous surface is often treated as an approximately additive quantity through the Cassie equation [Cassie ABD (1948) Discuss Faraday Soc 3:11-16]. However, deviations from additivity are common, and molecular interpretations are still lacking. We use molecular simulations to measure the microscopic analogue of contact angle, Θ(c), of aqueous nanodrops on heterogeneous synthetic and natural surfaces as a function of surface composition. The synthetic surfaces are layers of graphene functionalized with prototypical nonpolar and polar head group: methyl, amino, and nitrile. We demonstrate positive as well as negative deviations from the linear additivity. We show the deviations reflect the uneven exposure of mixture components to the solvent and the linear relation is recovered if fractions of solvent-accessible surface are used as the measure of composition. As the spatial variations in polarity become of larger amplitude, the linear relation can no longer be obtained. Protein surfaces represent such natural patterned surfaces, also characterized by larger patches and roughness. Our calculations reveal strong deviations from linear additivity on a prototypical surface comprising surface fragments of melittin dimer. The deviations reflect the disproportionately strong influence of isolated polar patches, preferential wetting, and changes in the position of the liquid interface above hydrophobic patches. Because solvent-induced contribution to the free energy of surface association grows as cos Θ(c), deviations of cos Θ(c) from the linear relation directly reflect nonadditive adhesive energies of biosurfaces.
Project description:Thermostable proteins are advantageous in industrial applications, as pharmaceuticals or biosensors, and as templates for directed evolution. As protein-design methodologies improve, bioengineers are able to design proteins to perform a desired function. Although many rationally designed proteins end up being thermostable, how to intentionally design de novo, thermostable proteins is less clear. UVF is a de novo-designed protein based on the backbone structure of the Engrailed homeodomain (EnHD) and is highly thermostable (Tm > 99°C vs. 52°C for EnHD). Although most proteins generally have polar amino acids on their surfaces and hydrophobic amino acids buried in their cores, protein engineers followed this rule exactly when designing UVF. To investigate the contributions of the fully hydrophobic core versus the fully polar surface to UVF's thermostability, we built two hybrid, chimeric proteins combining the sets of buried and surface residues from UVF and EnHD. Here, we determined a structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic explanation for UVF's thermostability by performing 4 ?s of all-atom, explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations at 25 and 100°C, Tanford-Kirkwood solvent accessibility Monte Carlo electrostatic calculations, and a thermodynamic analysis of 40 temperature runs by the weighted-histogram analysis method of heavy-atom, structure-based models of UVF, EnHD, and both chimeric proteins. Our models showed that UVF was highly dynamic because of its fully hydrophobic core, leading to a smaller loss of entropy upon folding. The charged residues on its surface made favorable electrostatic interactions that contributed enthalpically to its thermostability. In the chimeric proteins, both the hydrophobic core and charged surface independently imparted thermostability.
Project description:We describe a suite of SPACE tools for analysis and prediction of structures of biomolecules and their complexes. LPC/CSU software provides a common definition of inter-atomic contacts and complementarity of contacting surfaces to analyze protein structure and complexes. In the current version of LPC/CSU, analyses of water molecules and nucleic acids have been added, together with improved and expanded visualization options using Chime or Java based Jmol. The SPACE suite includes servers and programs for: structural analysis of point mutations (MutaProt); side chain modeling based on surface complementarity (SCCOMP); building a crystal environment and analysis of crystal contacts (CryCo); construction and analysis of protein contact maps (CMA) and molecular docking software (LIGIN). The SPACE suite is accessed at http://ligin.weizmann.ac.il/space.
Project description:Hydrophobicity of macroscopic planar surface is conventionally characterized by the contact angle of water droplets. However, this engineering measurement cannot be directly extended to surfaces of proteins, due to the nanometer scale of amino acids and inherent nonplanar structures. To measure the hydrophobicity of side chains of proteins quantitatively, numerous parameters were developed to characterize behavior of hydrophobic solvation. However, consistency among these parameters is not always apparent. Herein, we demonstrate an alternative way of characterizing hydrophobicity of amino acid side chains in a protein environment by constructing a monolayer of amino acids (i.e., artificial planar peptide network) according to the primary and the ?-sheet secondary structures of protein so that the conventional engineering measurement of the contact angle of a water droplet can be brought to bear. Using molecular dynamics simulations, contact angles ? of a water nanodroplet on the planar peptide network, together with excess chemical potentials of purely repulsive methane-sized Weeks-Chandler-Andersen solute, are computed. All of the 20 types of amino acids and the corresponding planar peptide networks are studied. Expectedly, all of the planar peptide networks with nonpolar amino acids are hydrophobic due to ? [Formula: see text] 90°, whereas all of the planar peptide networks of the polar and charged amino acids are hydrophilic due to ? [Formula: see text] 90°. Planar peptide networks of the charged amino acids exhibit complete-wetting behavior due to ? [Formula: see text] 0°. This computational approach for characterization of hydrophobicity can be extended to artificial planar networks of other soft matter.
Project description:Water-based lubrication provides cheap and environmentally friendly lubrication and, although hydrophilic surfaces are preferred in water-based lubrication, often lubricating surfaces do not retain water molecules during shear. We show here that hydrophilic (42° water contact angle) quartz surfaces facilitate water-based lubrication to the same extent as more hydrophobic Si crystal surfaces (61°), while lubrication by hydrophilic Ge crystal surfaces (44°) is best. Thus surface hydrophilicity is not sufficient for water-based lubrication. Surface-thermodynamic analyses demonstrated that all surfaces, regardless of their water-based lubrication, were predominantly electron donating, implying water binding with their hydrogen groups. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that Ge crystal surfaces providing optimal lubrication consisted of a mixture of -O and =O functionalities, while Si crystal and quartz surfaces solely possessed -O functionalities. Comparison of infrared absorption bands of the crystals in water indicated fewer bound-water layers on hydrophilic Ge than on hydrophobic Si crystal surfaces, while absorption bands for free water on the Ge crystal surface indicated a much more pronounced presence of structured, free-water clusters near the Ge crystal than near Si crystal surfaces. Accordingly, we conclude that the presence of structured, free-water clusters is essential for water-based lubrication. The prevalence of structured water clusters can be regulated by adjusting the ratio between surface electron-donating and electron-accepting groups and between -O and =O functionalities.
Project description:Lack of knowledge of three dimensional structures of small and large subunits of ADP- glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) in wheat has hindered efforts to understand the binding specifities of substrate and catalytic mechanism. Thus, to understand the structure activity relationship, 3D structures were built by homology modelling based on crystal structure of potato tuber ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. Selected models were refined by energy minimization and further validated by Procheck and Prosa-web analysis. Ramachandran plot showed that overall main chain and side chain parameters are favourable. Moreover, Z-score of the models from Prosa-web analysis gave the conformation that they are in the range of the template. Interaction analysis depicts the involvement of six amino acids in hydrogen bonding (AGP-SThr422-AGP-LMet138, AGP- SArg420-AGP-LGly47, AGP-SSer259-AGP-LSer306, AGP-SGlu241-AGP-LIle311, AGPSGln113- AGP-LGlu286 and AGP-SGln70-AGP-LLys291). Fifteen amino acids of small subunit were able to make hydrophobic contacts with seventeen amino acids of large subunit. Furthermore, decrease in the solvent accessible surface area in the amino acids involved in interaction were also reported. All the distances were formed in between 2.27 to 3.78Å. The present study focussed on heterodimeric structure of (AGPase). This predicted complex not only enhance our understanding of the interaction mechanism between these subunits (AGP-L and AGP-S) but also enable to further study to obtain better variants of this enzyme for the improvement of the plant yield.
Project description:To better understand the role of surface chemical heterogeneity in natural nanoscale hydration, we study via molecular dynamics simulation the structure and thermodynamics of water confined between two protein-like surfaces. Each surface is constructed to have interactions with water corresponding to those of the putative hydrophobic surface of a melittin dimer, but is flattened rather than having its native "cupped" configuration. Furthermore, peripheral charged groups are removed. Thus, the role of a rough surface topography is removed, and results can be productively compared with those previously observed for idealized, atomically smooth hydrophilic and hydrophobic flat surfaces. The results indicate that the protein surface is less hydrophobic than the idealized counterpart. The density and compressibility of water adjacent to a melittin dimer is intermediate between that observed adjacent to idealized hydrophobic or hydrophilic surfaces. We find that solvent evacuation of the hydrophobic gap (cavitation) between dimers is observed when the gap has closed to sterically permit a single water layer. This cavitation occurs at smaller pressures and separations than in the case of idealized hydrophobic flat surfaces. The vapor phase between the melittin dimers occupies a much smaller lateral region than in the case of the idealized surfaces; cavitation is localized in a narrow central region between the dimers, where an apolar amino acid is located. When that amino acid is replaced by a polar residue, cavitation is no longer observed.