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"Similarity trap" in protein-protein interactions could be carcinogenic: simulations of p53 core domain complexed with 53BP1 and BRCA1 BRCT domains.

Authors
  • Liu, Jin
  • Pan, Yongping
  • Ma, Buyong
  • Nussinov, Ruth
Type
Published Article
Journal
Structure (London, England : 1993)
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2006
Volume
14
Issue
12
Pages
1811–1821
Identifiers
PMID: 17161371
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Similar binding sites often imply similar protein-protein interactions and similar functions; however, similar binding sites may also constitute traps for nonfunctional associations. How are similar sites distinguished to prevent misassociations? BRCT domains from breast cancer-susceptibility gene product BRCA1 and protein 53BP1 have similar structures yet different binding behaviors with p53 core domain. 53BP1-BRCT domain forms a stable complex with p53. In contrast, BRCA1-p53 interaction is weak or other mechanisms operate. To delineate the difference, we designed 13 BRCA1-BRCT mutants and computationally investigated the structural and stability changes compared to the experimental p53-53BP1 structure. Interestingly, of the 13, the 2 mutations that are cancerous and involve nonconserved residues are those that enforced p53 core domain binding with BRCA1-BRCT in a way similar to p53-53BP1 binding. Hence, falling into the "similarity trap" may disrupt normal BRCA1 and p53 functions. Our results illustrate how this trap is avoided in the native state.

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