• G. Morra, R. Potestio, C. Micheletti and G. Colombo
    Corresponding Functional Dynamics across the Hsp90 Chaperone Family: Insights from a Multiscale Analysis of MD Simulations
    Plos. Comput. Biol., 2012, 8 , e1002433
    Link to online article

  • Abstract
    Understanding how local protein modifications, such as binding small-molecule ligands, can trigger and regulate large-scale motions of large protein domains is a major open issue in molecular biology. We address various aspects of this problem by analyzing and comparing atomistic simulations of Hsp90 family representatives for which crystal structures of the full length protein are available: mammalian Grp94, yeast Hsp90 and E.coli HtpG. These chaperones are studied in complex with the natural ligands ATP, ADP and in the Apo state. Key, common aspects of their functional dynamics are elucidated with a novel multi-scale comparison of their internal dynamics. Starting from the atomic resolution investigation of internal fluctuations and geometric strain patterns, a novel analysis of domain dynamics is developed. The results reveal that the ligand-dependent structural modulations mostly consist of relative rigid-like movements of a limited number of quasi-rigid domains, shared by the three proteins. Two common primary hinges for such movements are identified. The first hinge site, whose functional role has been demonstrated by several experimental approaches, is located at the boundary between the N-terminal and Middle-domains. The second hinge site is located at the end of a three-helix bundle in the Middle-domain and unfolds/unpacks going from the ATP- to the ADP-state. This site could therefore represent a promising novel druggable allosteric site common to all chaperones.