"Similarity Trap" in Protein-Protein Interactions Could Be Carcinogenic: Simulations of p53 Core Domain Complexed with 53BP1 and BRCA1 BRCT Domains

Jin Liu, Yongping Pan, Buyong Ma, Ruth Nussinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Similar binding sites often imply similar protein-protein interactions and similar functions; however, similar binding sites may also constitute traps for nonfunctional associations. How are similar sites distinguished to prevent misassociations? BRCT domains from breast cancer-susceptibility gene product BRCA1 and protein 53BP1 have similar structures yet different binding behaviors with p53 core domain. 53BP1-BRCT domain forms a stable complex with p53. In contrast, BRCA1-p53 interaction is weak or other mechanisms operate. To delineate the difference, we designed 13 BRCA1-BRCT mutants and computationally investigated the structural and stability changes compared to the experimental p53-53BP1 structure. Interestingly, of the 13, the 2 mutations that are cancerous and involve nonconserved residues are those that enforced p53 core domain binding with BRCA1-BRCT in a way similar to p53-53BP1 binding. Hence, falling into the "similarity trap" may disrupt normal BRCA1 and p53 functions. Our results illustrate how this trap is avoided in the native state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1811-1821
Number of pages11
JournalStructure
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • CELLCYCLE
  • PROTEINS

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