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

A theoretical model for the Gla-TSR-EGF-1 region of the anticoagulant cofactor protein S: from biostructural pathology to species-specific cofactor activity.

Protein S ( PS), which functions as a species-specific anticoagulant cofactor to activated protein C (APC), is a mosaic protein that interacts with the phospholipid membrane via its gamma-carboxyglutamate-rich (Gla) module. This module is followed by the thrombin-sensitive region (TSR), sensitive to thrombin cleavage, four epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like modules and a last region referred to as the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) domain. Of these, the TSR and the first EGF-like regions have been shown to be important for the species-specific interaction with APC. Difficulties in crystallising PS have so far hindered its study at the atomic level. Here, we report theoretical models for the Gla and EGF-1 modules of human PS constructed using prothrombin and factor X experimental structures. The TSR was built interactively. Analysis of the model linked with the large body of biochemical literature on PS and related proteins leads to suggestions that (i) the TSR stabilises the calcium-loaded Gla module through hydrophobic and ionic interactions and its conformation depends on the presence of the Gla module; (ii) the TSR does not form a calcium binding site but is protected from thrombin cleavage in the calcium-loaded form owing to short secondary structure elements and close contact with the Gla module; (iii) the PS missense mutations in this region are consistent with the structural data, except in one case which needs further investigation; and (iv) the two PS 'faces' involving regions of residues Arg49-Gln52-Lys97 (TSR-EGF-1) and Thr103-Pro106 (EGF-1) may be involved in species-specific interactions with APC as they are richer in nonconservative substitution when comparing human and bovine protein S. This preliminary model helps to plan future experiments and the resulting data will be used to further validate and optimise the present structure.[1]


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