Characterization of protein-protein interaction interfaces from a single species

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    Most proteins attain their biological functions through specific interactions with other proteins. Thus, the study of protein-protein interactions and the interfaces that mediate these interactions is of prime importance for the understanding of biological function. In particular the precise determinants of binding specificity and their contributions to binding energy within protein interfaces are not well understood. In order to better understand these determinants an appropriate description of the interaction surface is needed. Available data from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae allow us to focus on a single species and to use all the available structures, correcting for redundancy, instead of using structural representatives. This allows us to control for potentially confounding factors that may affect sequence propensities. We find a significant contribution of main-chain atoms to protein-protein interactions. These include interactions both with other main-chain and side-chain atoms on the interacting chain. We find that the type of interaction depends on both amino acid and secondary structure type involved in the contact. For example, residues in α-helices and large amino acids are the most likely to be involved in interactions through their side-chain atoms. We find an intriguing homogeneity when calculating the average solvation energy of different areas of the protein surface. Unexpectedly, homo- and hetero-complexes have quite similar results for all analyses. Our findings demonstrate that the manner in which protein-protein interactions are formed is determined by the residue type and the secondary structure found in the interface. However the homogeneity of the desolvation energy despite heterogeneity of interface properties suggests a complex relationship between interface composition and binding energy. © 2011 Talavera et al.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere21053
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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