5 years ago

Computational Studies of the Active and Inactive Regulatory Domains of Response Regulator PhoP Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Computational Studies of the Active and Inactive Regulatory Domains of Response Regulator PhoP Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Tom Venken, Marc De Maeyer, Xiao-Yu Qing, Arnout Voet, Hans Steenackers
The response regulator PhoP is part of the PhoP/PhoQ two-component system, which is responsible for regulating the expression of multiple genes involved in controlling virulence, biofilm formation, and resistance to antimicrobial peptides. Therefore, modulating the transcriptional function of the PhoP protein is a promising strategy for developing new antimicrobial agents. There is evidence suggesting that phosphorylation-mediated dimerization in the regulatory domain of PhoP is essential for its transcriptional function. Disruption or stabilization of protein-protein interactions at the dimerization interface may inhibit or enhance the expression of PhoP-dependent genes. In this study, we performed molecular dynamics simulations on the active and inactive dimers and monomers of the PhoP regulatory domains, followed by pocket-detecting screenings and a quantitative hot-spot analysis in order to assess the druggability of the protein. Consistent with prior hypothesis, the calculation of the binding free energy shows that phosphorylation enhances dimerization of PhoP. Furthermore, we have identified two different putative binding sites at the dimerization active site (the α4-β5-α5 face) with energetic “hot-spot” areas, which could be used to search for modulators of protein-protein interactions. This study delivers insight into the dynamics and druggability of the dimerization interface of the PhoP regulatory domain, and may serve as a basis for the rational identification of new antimicrobial drugs.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/minf.201700031

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