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Full-Text Articles in Physics

Rational Design Of Small-Molecule Stabilizers Of Spermine Synthase Dimer By Virtual Screening And Free Energy-Based Approach, Zhe Zhang, Virginie Martiny, David Lagorce, Yoshihiko Ikeguchi, Emil Alexov, Maria A. Miteva Oct 2014

Rational Design Of Small-Molecule Stabilizers Of Spermine Synthase Dimer By Virtual Screening And Free Energy-Based Approach, Zhe Zhang, Virginie Martiny, David Lagorce, Yoshihiko Ikeguchi, Emil Alexov, Maria A. Miteva

Publications

Snyder-Robinson Syndrome (SRS) is a rare mental retardation disorder which is caused by the malfunctioning of an enzyme, the spermine synthase (SMS), which functions as a homo-dimer. The malfunctioning of SMS in SRS patients is associated with several identified missense mutations that occur away from the active site. This investigation deals with a particular SRS-causing mutation, the G56S mutation, which was shown computationally and experimentally to destabilize the SMS homo-dimer and thus to abolish SMS enzymatic activity. As a proof-of-concept, we explore the possibility to restore the enzymatic activity of the malfunctioning SMS mutant G56S by stabilizing the dimer through ...


Problm Web Server: Protein And Membrane Placement And Orientation Package, Taylor Kimmett, Nicholas Smith, Shawn Witham, Marharyta Petukh, Subhra Sarkar, Emil Alexov Jul 2014

Problm Web Server: Protein And Membrane Placement And Orientation Package, Taylor Kimmett, Nicholas Smith, Shawn Witham, Marharyta Petukh, Subhra Sarkar, Emil Alexov

Publications

The 3D structures of membrane proteins are typically determined without the presence of a lipid bilayer. For the purpose of studying the role of membranes on the wild type characteristics of the corresponding protein, determining the position and orientation of transmembrane proteins within a membrane environment is highly desirable. Here we report a geometry-based approach to automatically insert a membrane protein with a known 3D structure into pregenerated lipid bilayer membranes with various dimensions and lipid compositions or into a pseudomembrane. The pseudomembrane is built using the Protein Nano-Object Integrator which generates a parallelepiped of user-specified dimensions made up of ...


Chronic Beryllium Disease: Revealing The Role Of Beryllium Ion And Small Peptides Binding To Hla-Dp2, Marharyta Petukh, Bohua Wu, Shannon Stefl, Nick Smith, David Hyde-Volpe, Li Wang, Emil Alexov May 2014

Chronic Beryllium Disease: Revealing The Role Of Beryllium Ion And Small Peptides Binding To Hla-Dp2, Marharyta Petukh, Bohua Wu, Shannon Stefl, Nick Smith, David Hyde-Volpe, Li Wang, Emil Alexov

Publications

Chronic Beryllium (Be) Disease (CBD) is a granulomatous disorder that predominantly affects the lung. The CBD is caused by Be exposure of individuals carrying the HLA-DP2 protein of the major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII). While the involvement of Be in the development of CBD is obvious and the binding site and the sequence of Be and peptide binding were recently experimentally revealed [1], the interplay between induced conformational changes and the changes of the peptide binding affinity in presence of Be were not investigated. Here we carry out in silico modeling and predict the Be binding to be within ...


Computational And Experimental Approaches To Reveal The Effects Of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms With Respect To Disease Diagnostics, Tugba G. Kucukkal, Ye Yang, Susan C. Chapman, Weiguo Cao, Emil Alexov May 2014

Computational And Experimental Approaches To Reveal The Effects Of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms With Respect To Disease Diagnostics, Tugba G. Kucukkal, Ye Yang, Susan C. Chapman, Weiguo Cao, Emil Alexov

Publications

DNA mutations are the cause of many human diseases and they are the reason for natural differences among individuals by affecting the structure, function, interactions, and other properties of DNA and expressed proteins. The ability to predict whether a given mutation is disease-causing or harmless is of great importance for the early detection of patients with a high risk of developing a particular disease and would pave the way for personalized medicine and diagnostics. Here we review existing methods and techniques to study and predict the effects of DNA mutations from three different perspectives: in silico, in vitro and in ...


A Novel P.Leu(381)Phe Mutation In Presenilin 1 Is Associated With Very Early Onset And Unusually Fast Progressing Dementia As Well As Lysosomal Inclusions Typically Seen In Kufs Disease, Natalia Dolzhanskaya, Michael A. Gonzalez, Fiorella Sperziani, Shannon Stefl, Jeffrey Messing, Guang Y. Wen, Emil Alexov, S Stephan Zuchner, Milen Velinov May 2014

A Novel P.Leu(381)Phe Mutation In Presenilin 1 Is Associated With Very Early Onset And Unusually Fast Progressing Dementia As Well As Lysosomal Inclusions Typically Seen In Kufs Disease, Natalia Dolzhanskaya, Michael A. Gonzalez, Fiorella Sperziani, Shannon Stefl, Jeffrey Messing, Guang Y. Wen, Emil Alexov, S Stephan Zuchner, Milen Velinov

Publications

Whole exome sequencing in a family with suspected dominant Kufs disease identified a novel Presenilin 1 mutation p.Leu(381)Phe in three brothers who, along with their father, developed progressive dementia and motor deficits in their early 30s. All affected relatives had unusually rapid disease progression (on average 3.6 years from disease onset to death). In silico analysis of mutation p.Leu(381)Phe predicted more detrimental effects when compared to the common Presenilin 1 mutation p.Glu(280)Ala. Electron microscopy study of peripheral fibroblast cells of the proband showed lysosomal inclusions typical for Kufs disease. However ...


On The Electrostatic Properties Of Homodimeric Proteins, Brandon Campbell, Marharyta Petukh, Emil Alexov, Chuan Li May 2014

On The Electrostatic Properties Of Homodimeric Proteins, Brandon Campbell, Marharyta Petukh, Emil Alexov, Chuan Li

Publications

A large fraction of proteins function as homodimers, but it is not always clear why the dimerization is important for functionality since frequently each monomer possesses a distinctive active site. Recent work (PLoS Computational Biology, 9(2), e1002924) indicates that homodimerization may be important for forming an electrostatic funnel in the spermine synthase homodimer which guides changed substrates toward the active centers. This prompted us to investigate the electrostatic properties of a large set of homodimeric proteins and resulted in an observation that in a vast majority of the cases the dimerization indeed results in specific electrostatic features, although not ...


On The Modeling Of Polar Component Of Solvation Energy Using Smooth Gaussian-Based Dielectric Function, Lin Li, Chuan Li, Emil Alexov May 2014

On The Modeling Of Polar Component Of Solvation Energy Using Smooth Gaussian-Based Dielectric Function, Lin Li, Chuan Li, Emil Alexov

Publications

Traditional implicit methods for modeling electrostatics in biomolecules use a two-dielectric approach: a biomolecule is assigned low dielectric constant while the water phase is considered as a high dielectric constant medium. However, such an approach treats the biomolecule-water interface as a sharp dielectric border between two homogeneous dielectric media and does not account for inhomogeneous dielectric properties of the macromolecule as well. Recently we reported a new development, a smooth Gaussian-based dielectric function which treats the entire system, the solute and the water phase, as inhomogeneous dielectric medium (J Chem Theory Comput. 2013 Apr 9; 9(4): 2126-2136.). Here we ...


Molecular Mechanisms Of Disease-Causing Missense Mutations, Shannon Stefl, Hafumi Nishi, Marharyta Petukh, Anna R. Panchenko, Emil Alexov Nov 2013

Molecular Mechanisms Of Disease-Causing Missense Mutations, Shannon Stefl, Hafumi Nishi, Marharyta Petukh, Anna R. Panchenko, Emil Alexov

Publications

Genetic variations resulting in a change of amino acid sequence can have a dramatic effect on stability, hydrogen bond network, conformational dynamics, activity and many other physiologically important properties of proteins. The substitutions of only one residue in a protein sequence, so-called missense mutations, can be related to many pathological conditions, and may influence susceptibility to disease and drug treatment. The plausible effects of missense mutations range from affecting the macromolecular stability to perturbing macromolecular interactions and cellular localization. Here we review the individual cases and genome-wide studies which illustrate the association between missense mutations and diseases. In addition we ...


Continuous Development Of Schemes For Parallel Computing Of The Electrostatics In Biological Systems: Implementation In Delphi, Chuan Li, Marharyta Petukh, Lin Li, Emil Alexov Jun 2013

Continuous Development Of Schemes For Parallel Computing Of The Electrostatics In Biological Systems: Implementation In Delphi, Chuan Li, Marharyta Petukh, Lin Li, Emil Alexov

Publications

Due to the enormous importance of electrostatics in molecular biology, calculating the electrostatic potential and corresponding energies has become a standard computational approach for the study of biomolecules and nano-objects immersed in water and salt phase or other media. However, the electrostatics of large macromolecules and macromolecular complexes, including nano-objects, may not be obtainable via explicit methods and even the standard continuum electrostatics methods may not be applicable due to high computational time and memory requirements. Here, we report further development of the parallelization scheme reported in our previous work (J Comput Chem. 2012 Sep 15; 33(24):1960–6 ...


Cancer Missense Mutations Alter Binding Properties Of Proteins And Their Interaction Networks, Hafumi Nisha, Manoj Tyagi, Shaolei Teng, Benjamin A. Shoemaker, Kosuke Hashimoto, Emil Alexov, Stefan Wuchty, Anna R. Panchenko Jun 2013

Cancer Missense Mutations Alter Binding Properties Of Proteins And Their Interaction Networks, Hafumi Nisha, Manoj Tyagi, Shaolei Teng, Benjamin A. Shoemaker, Kosuke Hashimoto, Emil Alexov, Stefan Wuchty, Anna R. Panchenko

Publications

Many studies have shown that missense mutations might play an important role in carcinogenesis. However, the extent to which cancer mutations might affect biomolecular interactions remains unclear. Here, we map glioblastoma missense mutations on the human protein interactome, model the structures of affected protein complexes and decipher the effect of mutations on protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid and protein-ion binding interfaces. Although some missense mutations over-stabilize protein complexes, we found that the overall effect of mutations is destabilizing, mostly affecting the electrostatic component of binding energy. We also showed that mutations on interfaces resulted in more drastic changes of amino acid physico-chemical ...


The Role Of Protonation States In Ligand-Receptor Recognition And Binding, Marharyta Petukh, Shannon Stefl, Emil Alexov May 2013

The Role Of Protonation States In Ligand-Receptor Recognition And Binding, Marharyta Petukh, Shannon Stefl, Emil Alexov

Publications

In this review we discuss the role of protonation states in receptor-ligand interactions, providing experimental evidences and computational predictions that complex formation may involve titratable groups with unusual pKa’s and that protonation states frequently change from unbound to bound states. These protonation changes result in proton uptake/release, which in turn causes the pHdependence of the binding. Indeed, experimental data strongly suggest that almost any binding is pH-dependent and to be correctly modeled, the protonation states must be properly assigned prior to and after the binding. One may accurately predict the protonation states when provided with the structures of ...


Progress In Developing Poisson-Boltzmann Equation Solvers, Chuan Li, Marharyta Petukh, Emil Alexov Mar 2013

Progress In Developing Poisson-Boltzmann Equation Solvers, Chuan Li, Marharyta Petukh, Emil Alexov

Publications

This review outlines the recent progress made in developing more accurate and efficient solutions to model electrostatics in systems comprised of bio-macromolecules and nano-objects, the last one referring to objects that do not have biological function themselves but nowadays are frequently used in biophysical and medical approaches in conjunction with bio-macromolecules. The problem of modeling macromolecular electrostatics is reviewed from two different angles: as a mathematical task provided the specific definition of the system to be modeled and as a physical problem aiming to better capture the phenomena occurring in the real experiments. In addition, specific attention is paid to ...


A Rational Free Energy-Based Approach To Understanding And Targeting Disease-Causing Missense Mutations., Zhe Zhang, Shawn Witham, Marharita Petukh, Gautier Moroy, Maria Miteva, Yoshihiko Ikeguchi, Emil Alexov Feb 2013

A Rational Free Energy-Based Approach To Understanding And Targeting Disease-Causing Missense Mutations., Zhe Zhang, Shawn Witham, Marharita Petukh, Gautier Moroy, Maria Miteva, Yoshihiko Ikeguchi, Emil Alexov

Publications

BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE:

Intellectual disability is a condition characterized by significant limitations in cognitive abilities and social/behavioral adaptive skills and is an important reason for pediatric, neurologic, and genetic referrals. Approximately 10% of protein-encoding genes on the X chromosome are implicated in intellectual disability, and the corresponding intellectual disability is termed X-linked ID (XLID). Although few mutations and a small number of families have been identified and XLID is rare, collectively the impact of XLID is significant because patients usually are unable to fully participate in society.

OBJECTIVE:

To reveal the molecular mechanisms of various intellectual disabilities and to ...


Enhancing Human Spermine Synthase Activity By Engineered Mutations, Zhe Zhang, Yueli Zheng, Margo Petukh, Anthony Pegg, Yoshihiko Ikeguchi, Emil Alexov Feb 2013

Enhancing Human Spermine Synthase Activity By Engineered Mutations, Zhe Zhang, Yueli Zheng, Margo Petukh, Anthony Pegg, Yoshihiko Ikeguchi, Emil Alexov

Publications

Spermine synthase (SMS) is an enzyme which function is to convert spermidine into spermine. It was shown that gene defects resulting in amino acid changes of the wild type SMS cause Snyder-Robinson syndrome, which is a mild-to-moderate mental disability associated with osteoporosis, facial asymmetry, thin habitus, hypotonia, and a nonspecific movement disorder. These disease-causing missense mutations were demonstrated, both in silico and in vitro, to affect the wild type function of SMS by either destabilizing the SMS dimer/monomer or directly affecting the hydrogen bond network of the active site of SMS. In contrast to these studies, here we report ...


Between Algorithm And Model: Different Molecular Surface Definitions For The Poisson-Boltzmann Based Electrostatic Characterization Of Biomolecules In Solution, Sergio Decherchi, José Colmenares, Chiara Eva Catalano, Michela Spagnuolo, Emil Alexov, Walter Rocchia Jan 2013

Between Algorithm And Model: Different Molecular Surface Definitions For The Poisson-Boltzmann Based Electrostatic Characterization Of Biomolecules In Solution, Sergio Decherchi, José Colmenares, Chiara Eva Catalano, Michela Spagnuolo, Emil Alexov, Walter Rocchia

Publications

The definition of a molecular surface which is physically sound and computationally efficient is a very interesting and long standing problem in the implicit solvent continuum modeling of biomolecular systems as well as in the molecular graphics field. In this work, two molecular surfaces are evaluated with respect to their suitability for electrostatic computation as alternatives to the widely used Connolly-Richards surface: the blobby surface, an implicit Gaussian atom centered surface, and the skin surface. As figures of merit, we considered surface differentiability and surface area continuity with respect to atom positions, and the agreement with explicit solvent simulations. Geometric ...


Delphi Web Server: A Comprehensive Online Suite For Electrostatic Calculations Of Biological Macromolecules And Their Complexes., Subhra Sarkar, Shawn Witham, Jie Zhang, Maxim Zhenirovskyy, Walter Rocchia Jan 2013

Delphi Web Server: A Comprehensive Online Suite For Electrostatic Calculations Of Biological Macromolecules And Their Complexes., Subhra Sarkar, Shawn Witham, Jie Zhang, Maxim Zhenirovskyy, Walter Rocchia

Publications

Here we report a web server, the DelPhi web server, which utilizes DelPhi program to calculate electrostatic energies and the corresponding electrostatic potential and ionic distributions, and dielectric map. The server provides extra services to fix structural defects, as missing atoms in the structural file and allows for generation of missing hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen placement and the corresponding DelPhi calculations can be done with user selected force field parameters being either Charmm22, Amber98 or OPLS. Upon completion of the calculations, the user is given option to download fixed and protonated structural file, together with the parameter and Delphi output ...


In Silico Investigation Of Ph-Dependence Of Prolactin And Human Growth Hormone Binding To Human Prolactin Receptor, Lin Wang, Shawn Witham, Zhe Zhang, Michael E. Hodsdon, Emil Alexov Jan 2013

In Silico Investigation Of Ph-Dependence Of Prolactin And Human Growth Hormone Binding To Human Prolactin Receptor, Lin Wang, Shawn Witham, Zhe Zhang, Michael E. Hodsdon, Emil Alexov

Publications

Experimental data shows that the binding of human prolactin (hPRL) to human prolactin receptor (hPRLr-ECD) is strongly pH-dependent, while the binding of the same receptor to human growth hormone (hGH) is pH-independent. Here we carry in silico analysis of the molecular effects causing such a difference and reveal the role of individual amino acids. It is shown that the computational modeling correctly predicts experimentally determined pKa’s of histidine residues in an unbound state in the majority of the cases and the pH-dependence of the binding free energy. Structural analysis carried in conjunction with calculated pH-dependence of the binding revealed ...


Using Delphi Capabilities To Mimic Protein's Conformational Reorganization With Amino Acid Specific Dielectric Constants, Lin Wang, Zhe Zhang, Walter Rocchia, Emil Alexov Jan 2013

Using Delphi Capabilities To Mimic Protein's Conformational Reorganization With Amino Acid Specific Dielectric Constants, Lin Wang, Zhe Zhang, Walter Rocchia, Emil Alexov

Publications

Many molecular events are associated with small or large conformational changes occurring in the corresponding proteins. Modeling such changes is a challenge and requires significant amount of computing time. From point of view of electrostatics, these changes can be viewed as a reorganization of local charges and dipoles in response to the changes of the electrostatic field, if the cause is insertion or deletion of a charged amino acid. Here we report a large scale investigation of modeling the changes of the folding energy due to single mutations involving charged group. This allows the changes of the folding energy to ...


Protein Nano-Object Integrator (Pronoi) For Generating Atomic Style Objects For Molecular Modeling, Nicholas Smith, Brandon Campbell, Lin Li, Chuan Li, Emil Alexov Dec 2012

Protein Nano-Object Integrator (Pronoi) For Generating Atomic Style Objects For Molecular Modeling, Nicholas Smith, Brandon Campbell, Lin Li, Chuan Li, Emil Alexov

Publications

Background

With the progress of nanotechnology, one frequently has to model biological macromolecules simultaneously with nano-objects. However, the atomic structures of the nano objects are typically not available or they are solid state entities. Because of that, the researchers have to investigate such nano systems by generating models of the nano objects in a manner that the existing software be able to carry the simulations. In addition, it should allow generating composite objects with complex shape by combining basic geometrical figures and embedding biological macromolecules within the system.

Results

Here we report the Protein Nano-Object Integrator (ProNOI) which allows for ...


Highly Efficient And Exact Method For Parallelization Of Grid-Based Algorithms And Its Implementation In Delphi, Chuan Li, Lin Li, Jie Zhang, Emil Alexov Sep 2012

Highly Efficient And Exact Method For Parallelization Of Grid-Based Algorithms And Its Implementation In Delphi, Chuan Li, Lin Li, Jie Zhang, Emil Alexov

Publications

The Gauss–Seidel (GS) method is a standard iterative numerical method widely used to solve a system of equations and, in general, is more efficient comparing to other iterative methods, such as the Jacobi method. However, standard implementation of the GS method restricts its utilization in parallel computing due to its requirement of using updated neighboring values (i.e., in current iteration) as soon as they are available. Here, we report an efficient and exact (not requiring assumptions) method to parallelize iterations and to reduce the computational time as a linear/nearly linear function of the number of processes or ...


Predicting Nonspecific Ion Binding Using Delphi, Marharyta Petukh, Maxim Zhenirovskyy, Chuan Li, Lin Li, Lin Wang, Emil Alexov Jun 2012

Predicting Nonspecific Ion Binding Using Delphi, Marharyta Petukh, Maxim Zhenirovskyy, Chuan Li, Lin Li, Lin Wang, Emil Alexov

Publications

Ions are an important component of the cell and affect the corresponding biological macromolecules either via direct binding or as a screening ion cloud. Although some ion binding is highly specific and frequently associated with the function of the macromolecule, other ions bind to the protein surface nonspecifically, presumably because the electrostatic attraction is strong enough to immobilize them. Here, we test such a scenario and demonstrate that experimentally identified surface-bound ions are located at a potential that facilitates binding, which indicates that the major driving force is the electrostatics. Without taking into consideration geometrical factors and structural fluctuations, we ...


Delphi: A Comprehensive Suite For Delphi Software And Associated Resources, Lin Li, Chuan Li, Subhra Sarkar, Jie Zhang, Shawn Witham, Zhe Zhang, Lin Wang, Nicholas Smith, Marharyta Petukh, Emil Alexov May 2012

Delphi: A Comprehensive Suite For Delphi Software And Associated Resources, Lin Li, Chuan Li, Subhra Sarkar, Jie Zhang, Shawn Witham, Zhe Zhang, Lin Wang, Nicholas Smith, Marharyta Petukh, Emil Alexov

Publications

Background

Accurate modeling of electrostatic potential and corresponding energies becomes increasingly important for understanding properties of biological macromolecules and their complexes. However, this is not an easy task due to the irregular shape of biological entities and the presence of water and mobile ions.

Results

Here we report a comprehensive suite for the well-known Poisson-Boltzmann solver, DelPhi, enriched with additional features to facilitate DelPhi usage. The suite allows for easy download of both DelPhi executable files and source code along with a makefile for local installations. The users can obtain the DelPhi manual and parameter files required for the corresponding ...


Analyzing Effects Of Naturally Occurring Missense Mutations, Zhe Zhang, Maria A. Miteva, Lin Wang, Emil Alexov Feb 2012

Analyzing Effects Of Naturally Occurring Missense Mutations, Zhe Zhang, Maria A. Miteva, Lin Wang, Emil Alexov

Publications

Single-point mutation in genome, for example, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or rare genetic mutation, is the change of a single nucleotide for another in the genome sequence. Some of them will produce an amino acid substitution in the corresponding protein sequence (missense mutations); others will not. This paper focuses on genetic mutations resulting in a change in the amino acid sequence of the corresponding protein and how to assess their effects on protein wild-type characteristics. The existing methods and approaches for predicting the effects of mutation on protein stability, structure, and dynamics are outlined and discussed with respect to their underlying ...


Progress In The Prediction Of Pka Values In Proteins, Emil Alexov, Ernest L. Mehler, Nathan Baker, Antonio Baptista, Yong Huang, Francesca Milletti, Jens Erik Nielsen, Damien Farrell, Tommy Carstensen, Mats H.M. Olsson, Jana K. Shen, Jim Warwicker, Sarah Williams, J Michael Word Dec 2011

Progress In The Prediction Of Pka Values In Proteins, Emil Alexov, Ernest L. Mehler, Nathan Baker, Antonio Baptista, Yong Huang, Francesca Milletti, Jens Erik Nielsen, Damien Farrell, Tommy Carstensen, Mats H.M. Olsson, Jana K. Shen, Jim Warwicker, Sarah Williams, J Michael Word

Publications

The pKa-cooperative aims to provide a forum for experimental and theoretical researchers interested in protein pKa values and protein electrostatics in general. The first round of the pKa-cooperative, which challenged computational labs to carry out blind predictions against pKas experimentally determined in the laboratory of Bertrand Garcia-Moreno, was completed and results discussed at the Telluride meeting (July 6–10, 2009). This article serves as an introduction to the reports submitted by the blind prediction participants that will be published in a special issue of PROTEINS: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics ...


Developing Hybrid Approaches To Predict Pka Values Of Ionizable Groups, Shawn Witham, Kemper Talley, Lin Wang, Zhe Zhang, Daquan Gao, Wei Yang, Emil Alexov Dec 2011

Developing Hybrid Approaches To Predict Pka Values Of Ionizable Groups, Shawn Witham, Kemper Talley, Lin Wang, Zhe Zhang, Daquan Gao, Wei Yang, Emil Alexov

Publications

Accurate predictions of pKa values of titratable groups require taking into account all relevant processes associated with the ionization/deionization. Frequently, however, the ionization does not involve significant structural changes and the dominating effects are purely electrostatic in origin allowing accurate predictions to be made based on the electrostatic energy difference between ionized and neutral forms alone using a static structure. On another hand, if the change of the charge state is accompanied by a structural reorganization of the target protein, then the relevant conformational changes have to be taken into account in the pKa calculations. Here we report a ...


A Missense Mutation In Clic2 Associated With Intellectual Disability Is Predicted By In Silico Modeling To Affect Protein Stability And Dynamics, Shawn Witham, Kyoko Takano, Charles Schwartz, Emil Alexov Aug 2011

A Missense Mutation In Clic2 Associated With Intellectual Disability Is Predicted By In Silico Modeling To Affect Protein Stability And Dynamics, Shawn Witham, Kyoko Takano, Charles Schwartz, Emil Alexov

Publications

Large-scale next generation resequencing of X chromosome genes identified a missense mutation in the CLIC2 gene on Xq28 in a male with X-linked intellectual disability (XLID) and not found in healthy individuals. At the same time, numerous nsSNPs (nonsynonomous SNP) have been reported in the CLIC2 gene in healthy individuals indicating that the CLIC2 protein can tolerate amino acid substitutions and be fully functional. To test the possibility that p.H101Q is a disease-causing mutation, we performed in silico simulations to calculate the effects of the p.H101Q mutation on CLIC2 stability, dynamics, and ionization states while comparing the effects ...


On The Role Of Electrostatics In Protein–Protein Interactions, Zhe Zhang, Shawn Witham, Emil Alexov Jun 2011

On The Role Of Electrostatics In Protein–Protein Interactions, Zhe Zhang, Shawn Witham, Emil Alexov

Publications

The role of electrostatics in protein–protein interactions and binding is reviewed in this paper. A brief outline of the computational modeling, in the framework of continuum electrostatics, is presented and the basic electrostatic effects occurring upon the formation of the complex are discussed. The effect of the salt concentration and pH of the water phase on protein–protein binding free energy is demonstrated which indicates that the increase of the salt concentration tends to weaken the binding, an observation that is attributed to the optimization of the charge–charge interactions across the interface. It is pointed out that the ...


In Silico And In Vitro Investigations Of The Mutability Of Disease-Causing Missense Mutation Sites In Spermine Synthase, Zhe Zhang, Joy Norris, Charles Schwartz, Emil Alexov May 2011

In Silico And In Vitro Investigations Of The Mutability Of Disease-Causing Missense Mutation Sites In Spermine Synthase, Zhe Zhang, Joy Norris, Charles Schwartz, Emil Alexov

Publications

Background

Spermine synthase (SMS) is a key enzyme controlling the concentration of spermidine and spermine in the cell. The importance of SMS is manifested by the fact that single missense mutations were found to cause Snyder-Robinson Syndrome (SRS). At the same time, currently there are no non-synonymous single nucleoside polymorphisms, nsSNPs (harmless mutations), found in SMS, which may imply that the SMS does not tolerate amino acid substitutions, i.e. is not mutable.

Methodology/Principal Findings

To investigate the mutability of the SMS, we carried out in silico analysis and in vitro experiments of the effects of amino acid substitutions ...


In Silico Modeling Of Ph-Optimum Of Protein-Protein Binding, Rooplekha C. Mitra, Zhe Zhang, Emil Alexov Dec 2010

In Silico Modeling Of Ph-Optimum Of Protein-Protein Binding, Rooplekha C. Mitra, Zhe Zhang, Emil Alexov

Publications

Protein-protein association is a pH-dependent process and thus the binding affinity depends on the local pH. In vivo the association occurs in a particular cellular compartment, where the individual monomers are supposed to meet and form a complex. Since the monomers and the complex exist in the same micro environment, it is plausible that they coevolved toward its properties, in particular, toward the characteristic subcellular pH. Here we show that the pH at which the monomers are most stable (pH-optimum) or the pH at which stability is almost pH-independent (pH-flat) of monomers are correlated with the pH-optimum of maximal affinity ...


Computational Analysis Of Missense Mutations Causing Snyder-Robinson Syndrome, Zhe Zhang, Shaolei Teng, Liangjiang Wang, Charles E. Schwartz, Emil Alexov Sep 2010

Computational Analysis Of Missense Mutations Causing Snyder-Robinson Syndrome, Zhe Zhang, Shaolei Teng, Liangjiang Wang, Charles E. Schwartz, Emil Alexov

Publications

The Snyder-Robinson syndrome is caused by missense mutations in the spermine sythase gene that encodes a protein (SMS) of 529 amino acids. Here we investigate, in silico, the molecular effect of three missense mutations, c.267G>A (p.G56S), c.496T>G (p.V132G), and c.550T>C (p.I150T) in SMS that were clinically identified to cause the disease. Single-point energy calculations, molecular dynamics simulations, and pKa calculations revealed the effects of these mutations on SMS's stability, flexibility, and interactions. It was predicted that the catalytic residue, Asp276, should be protonated prior binding the substrates. The pKa calculations ...