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Deciphering collaborative sidechain motions in proteins during molecular dynamics simulations

Résumé : The dynamic structure of proteins is essential for their functions and may include large conformational transitions which can be studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. However, details of these transitions are difficult to automatically track. To facilitate their analysis, we developed two scores of correlation between sidechain dihedral angles. The CIRCULAR and OMES scores are computed from, respectively, dihedral angle values and rotamer distributions. As a case study, we applied our methods to an activation-like transition of the chemokine receptor CXCR4, observed during accelerated MD simulations. The principal component analysis of the correlation matrices was consistent with the networking structure of the top ranking pairs. Both scores identify a set of residues whose "collaborative" sidechain rotamerization immediately preceded or accompanied the conformational transition of CXCR4. Detailed analysis of the sequential order of these rotamerizations suggests that an allosteric mechanism, involving the outward motion of an asparagine residue in transmembrane helix 3, might be a prerequisite to the large scale conformational transition of CXCR4. This case study provides the proof-of-concept that the correlation methods developed here are valuable exploratory techniques to help decipher complex reactional pathways.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 3:33:27 PM
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Bruck Taddese, Antoine Garnier, Hervé Abdi, Daniel Henrion, Marie Chabbert. Deciphering collaborative sidechain motions in proteins during molecular dynamics simulations. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.15901. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-72766-1⟩. ⟨hal-02976724⟩

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