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Garching bei München, Germany

Schaefer C.,Columbia University | Schaefer C.,Institute of Advanced Studies IAS | Schlessinger A.,University of California at San Francisco | Rost B.,Columbia University | And 2 more authors.
Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Motivation: The mutation of amino acids often impacts protein function and structure. Mutations without negative effect sustain evolutionary pressure. We study a particular aspect of structural robustness with respect to mutations: regular protein secondary structure and natively unstructured (intrinsically disordered) regions. Is the formation of regular secondary structure an intrinsic feature of amino acid sequences, or is it a feature that is lost upon mutation and is maintained by evolution against the odds? Similarly, is disorder an intrinsic sequence feature or is it difficult to maintain? To tackle these questions, we in silico mutated native protein sequences into random sequence-like ensembles and monitored the change in predicted secondary structure and disorder. Results: We established that by our coarse-grained measures for change, predictions and observations were similar, suggesting that our results were not biased by prediction mistakes. Changes in secondary structure and disorder predictions were linearly proportional to the change in sequence. Surprisingly, neither the content nor the length distribution for the predicted secondary structure changed substantially. Regions with long disorder behaved differently in that significantly fewer such regions were predicted after a few mutation steps. Our findings suggest that the formation of regular secondary structure is an intrinsic feature of random amino acid sequences, while the formation of long-disordered regions is not an intrinsic feature of proteins with disordered regions. Put differently, helices and strands appear to be maintained easily by evolution, whereas maintaining disordered regions appears difficult. Neutral mutations with respect to disorder are therefore very unlikely. Contact: schaefer@rostlab.org Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. Source

Gersch M.,Institute of Advanced Studies IAS | Kolb R.,Institute of Advanced Studies IAS | Alte F.,TU Munich | Groll M.,TU Munich | Sieber S.A.,Institute of Advanced Studies IAS
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

Over 100 protease inhibitors are currently used in the clinics, and most of them use blockage of the active site for their mode of inhibition. Among the protease drug targets are several enzymes for which the correct multimeric assembly is crucial to their activity, such as the proteasome and the HIV protease. Here, we present a novel mechanism of protease inhibition that relies on active-site-directed small molecules that disassemble the protease complex. We show the applicability of this mechanism within the ClpP protease family, whose members are tetradecameric serine proteases and serve as regulators of several cellular processes, including homeostasis and virulence. Compound binding to ClpP in a substoichiometric fashion triggers the formation of completely inactive heptamers. Moreover, we report the selective β-sultam-induced dehydroalanine formation of the active site serine. This reaction proceeds through sulfonylation and subsequent elimination, thereby obliterating the catalytic charge relay system. The identity of the dehydroalanine was confirmed by mass spectrometry and crystallography. Activity-based protein profiling experiments suggest the formation of a dehydroalanine moiety in living S. aureus cells upon β-sultam treatment. Collectively, these findings extend our view on multicomponent protease inhibition that until now has mainly relied on blockage of the active site or occupation of a regulatory allosteric site. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

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