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Role of Water Mediated Interactions in Protein−Protein Recognition Landscapes

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journal contribution
posted on 03.07.2003, 00:00 by Garegin A. Papoian, Johan Ulander, Peter G. Wolynes
The energy landscape picture of protein folding and binding is employed to optimize a number of pair potentials for direct and water-mediated interactions in protein complex interfaces. We find that water-mediated interactions greatly complement direct interactions in discriminating against various types of trap interactions that model those present in the cell. We highlight the context dependent nature of knowledge-based binding potentials, as contrasted with the situation for autonomous folding. By performing a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the corresponding interaction matrixes, we rationalize the strength of the recognition signal for each combination of the contact type and reference trap states using the differential in the idealized “canonical” amino acid compositions of native and trap layers. The comparison of direct and water-mediated contact potential matrixes emphasizes the importance of partial solvation in stabilizing charged groups in the protein interfaces. Specific water-mediated interresidue interactions are expected to influence significantly the kinetics as well as thermodynamics of protein association.