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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Superadditive and subadditive effects of "hot spot" mutations within the interfaces of placental ribonuclease inhibitor with angiogenin and ribonuclease A.

Previous single-site mutagenesis studies on the complexes of ribonuclease inhibitor (RI) with angiogenin (Ang) and RNase A suggested that in both cases a substantial fraction of the binding energy is concentrated within one small part of the crystallographically observed interface, involving RI residues 434-438. Such energetic "hot spots" are common in protein-protein complexes, but their physical meaning is generally unclear. Here we have investigated this question by examining the detailed interactions within the RI.ligand hot spots and the extent to which they function independently. The effects of Phe versus Ala substitutions show that the key residue Tyr434 interacts with both ligands primarily through its phenyl ring; for Tyr437, the OH group forms the important contacts with RNase A, whereas the phenyl group interacts with Ang. Kinetic characterization of complexes containing multiple substitutions reveals striking, but distinctive, cooperativity in the interactions of RI with the two ligands. The losses in binding energy for the RNase complex associated with replacements of Tyr434 and Asp435, and Tyr434 and Tyr437, are markedly less than additive (i.e., by 2.4 and 1.3 kcal/ mol, respectively). In contrast, the energetic effects of the 434 and 435, and 434 and 437, substitution pairs on binding of Ang are fully additive and 2.5 kcal/ mol beyond additive, respectively. Superadditivities (0.9-2.4 kcal/ mol) are also observed for several multisite replacements involving these inhibitor residues and two Ang residues, Arg5 and Lys40, from this part of the interface. Consequently, the decreases in binding energy for some triple-variant complexes are as large as 8.5-10.1 kcal/ mol (compared to a total DeltaG of -21.0 kcal/ mol for the wild-type complex). Potential explanations for these functional couplings, many of which occur over distances of >13 A and are not mediated by direct or triangulated contacts, are proposed. These findings show that the basis for the generation of hot spots can be complex, and that these sites can assume significantly more (as with Ang) or less (as with RNase) importance than indicated from the effects of single-site mutations.[1]


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