When Order Meets Disorder: Modeling and Function of the Protein Interface in Fuzzy Complexes

TitleWhen Order Meets Disorder: Modeling and Function of the Protein Interface in Fuzzy Complexes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSacquin-Mora S, Prévost C

The degree of proteins structural organization ranges from highly structured, compact folding to intrinsic disorder, where each degree of self-organization corresponds to specific functions: well-organized structural motifs in enzymes offer a proper environment for precisely positioned functional groups to participate in catalytic reactions; at the other end of the self-organization spectrum, intrinsically disordered proteins act as binding hubs via the formation of multiple, transient and often non-specific interactions. This review focusses on cases where structurally organized proteins or domains associate with highly disordered protein chains, leading to the formation of interfaces with varying degrees of fuzziness. We present a review of the computational methods developed to provide us with information on such fuzzy interfaces, and how they integrate experimental information. The discussion focusses on two specific cases, microtubules and homologous recombination nucleoprotein filaments, where a network of intrinsically disordered tails exerts regulatory function in recruiting partner macromolecules, proteins or DNA and tuning the atomic level association. Notably, we show how computational approaches such as molecular dynamics simulations can bring new knowledge to help bridging the gap between experimental analysis, that mostly concerns ensemble properties, and the behavior of individual disordered protein chains that contribute to regulation functions.

Citation Key2021|2146