We recently introduced a physically based approach to sequence comparison, the property factor method (PFM). In the present work, we apply the PFM approach to the study of a challenging set of sequences - the bacterial chemotaxis protein CheY, the N-terminal receiver domain of the nitrogen regulation protein NT-NtrC, and the sporulation response regulator Spo0F. These are all response regulators involved in signal transduction. Despite functional similarity and structural homology, they exhibit low sequence identity. PFM sequence comparison demonstrates a statistically significant qualitative difference between the sequence of CheY and those of the other two proteins that is not found using conventional alignment methods. This difference is shown to be consonant with structural characteristics, using distance matrix comparisons. We also demonstrate that residues participating strongly in native contacts during unfolding are distributed differently in CheY than in the other two proteins. The PFM result is also in accord with dynamic simulation results of several types. Molecular dynamics simulations of all three proteins were carried out at several temperatures, and it is shown that the dynamics of CheY are predicted to differ from those of NT-NtrC and Spo0F. The predicted dynamic properties of the three proteins are in good agreement with experimentally determined B factors and with fluctuations predicted by the Gaussian network model. We pinpoint the differences between the PFM and traditional sequence comparisons and discuss the informatic basis for the ability of the PFM approach to detect physical differences between these sequences that are not apparent from traditional alignment-based comparison.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 14 Feb 2017|
- All-atom simulations
- Amino acid physical properties
- Protein fluctuations