Main content area

Consequences of Energetic Frustration on the Ligand-Coupled Folding/Dimerization Dynamics of Allosteric Protein S100A12

Ren, Weitong, Li, Wenfei, Wang, Jun, Zhang, Jian, Wang, Wei
The Journal of physical chemistry 2017 v.121 no.42 pp. 9799-9806
EF hand motifs, Gibbs free energy, crosslinking, dimerization, metal ions, protein folding, proteins, topography
Allosteric proteins are featured by energetic degeneracy of two (or more) functionally relevant conformations, therefore their energy landscapes are often locally frustrated. How such frustration affects the protein folding/binding dynamics is not well understood. Here, by using molecular simulations we study the consequences of local frustration in the dimerization dynamics of allosteric proteins based on a homodimer protein S100A12. Despite of the structural symmetry of the two EF-hand motifs in the three-dimensional structures, the S100A12 homodimer shows allosteric behaviors and local frustration only in half of its structural elements, i.e., the C-terminal EF-hand. We showed that such spatially asymmetric location of frustration leads to asymmetric dimerization pathways, in which the dimerization is dominantly initiated by the interchain binding of the minimally frustrated N-terminal EF-hands, achieving optimal balance between the requirements of rapid conformational switching and interchain assembling to the energy landscapes. We also showed that the local frustration, as represented by the double-basin topography of the energy landscape, gives rise to multiple cross-linked dimerization pathways, in which the dimerization is coupled with the allosteric motions of the C-terminal EF-hands. Binding of metal ions tends to reshape the energy landscape and modulate the dimerization pathways. In addition, by employing the frustratometer method, we showed that the highly frustrated residue-pairs in the C-terminal EF-hand are partially unfolded during the conformational transitions of the native homodimer, leading to lowing of free energy barrier. Our results revealed tight interplay between the local frustration of the energy landscape and the dimerization dynamics for allosteric proteins.