Stereochemical criteria for prediction of the effects of proline mutations on protein stability

Bajaj, Kanika ; Madhusudhan, M. S. ; Adkar, Bharat V. ; Chakrabarti, Purbani ; Ramakrishnan, C. ; Sali, Andrej ; Varadarajan, Raghavan (2007) Stereochemical criteria for prediction of the effects of proline mutations on protein stability PLoS Computational Biology, 3 (12). e241-e241. ISSN 1553-734X

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When incorporated into a polypeptide chain, proline (Pro) differs from all other naturally occurring amino acid residues in two important respects. The Φ dihedral angle of Pro is constrained to values close to -65° and Pro lacks an amide hydrogen. Consequently, mutations which result in introduction of Pro can significantly affect protein stability. In the present work, we describe a procedure to accurately predict the effect of Pro introduction on protein thermodynamic stability. Seventy-seven of the 97 non-Pro amino acid residues in the model protein, CcdB, were individually mutated to Pro, and the in vivo activity of each mutant was characterized. A decision tree to classify the mutation as perturbing or nonperturbing was created by correlating stereochemical properties of mutants to activity data. The stereochemical properties including main chain dihedral angle Φ and main chain amide H-bonds (hydrogen bonds) were determined from 3D models of the mutant proteins built using MODELLER. We assessed the performance of the decision tree on a large dataset of 163 single-site Pro mutations of T4 lysozyme, 74 nsSNPs, and 52 other Pro substitutions from the literature. The overall accuracy of this algorithm was found to be 81% in the case of CcdB, 77% in the case of lysozyme, 76% in the case of nsSNPs, and 71% in the case of other Pro substitution data. The accuracy of Pro scanning mutagenesis for secondary structure assignment was also assessed and found to be at best 69%. Our prediction procedure will be useful in annotating uncharacterized nsSNPs of disease-associated proteins and for protein engineering and design.

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