|Mobility and core-protein binding patterns of disordered C-terminal tails in β-tubulin isotypes.
|Year of Publication
|Laurin Y, Eyer J, Robert CH, Prévost C, Sacquin-Mora S
Although they play a significant part in the regulation of microtubule structure, dynamics and function, the disordered C-terminal tails of tubulin remain invisible to experimental structural methods and do not appear in the crystallographic structures that are currently available in the Protein Data Bank. Interestingly, these tails concentrate most of the sequence variability between tubulin isotypes, and are the sites of the principal post-translational modifications undergone by this protein. Using homology modeling, we developed two complete models for the human αI/βI and αI/βIII tubulin isotypes that include their C-terminal tails. We then investigated the conformational variability of the two β-tails using long time-scale classical Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations that revealed similar features, notably the unexpected presence of common anchoring regions on the surface of the tubulin dimer, but also distinctive mobility or interaction patterns, some of which could be related to the tail lengths and charge distributions. We also observed in our simulations that the C-terminal tail from the βI isotype, but not the βIII, formed contacts in the putative binding site of a recently discovered peptide that disrupts microtubule formation in glioma cells. Hindering the binding site in the βI isotype would be consistent with this peptide’s preferential disruption of microtubule formation in glioma, whose cells overexpress βIII, compared to normal glial cells. While these observations need to be confirmed with more intensive sampling, our study opens up new perspectives for the development of isotype-specific chemotherapy drugs.