Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Frontiers in molecular biosciences

Owing to its clinical significance, modulation of functionally relevant amino acids in protein-protein complexes has attracted a great deal of attention. To this end, many approaches have been proposed to predict the partner-selecting amino acid positions in evolutionarily close complexes. These approaches can be grouped into sequence-based machine learning and structure-based energy-driven methods. In this work, we assessed these methods' ability to map the specificity-determining positions of Axl, a receptor tyrosine kinase involved in cancer progression and immune system diseases. For sequence-based predictions, we used SDPpred, Multi-RELIEF, and Sequence Harmony. For structure-based predictions, we utilized HADDOCK refinement and molecular dynamics simulations. As a result, we observed that (i) sequence-based methods overpredict partner-selecting residues of Axl and that (ii) combining Multi-RELIEF with HADDOCK-based predictions provides the key Axl residues, covered by the extensive molecular dynamics simulations. Expanding on these results, we propose that a sequence-structure-based approach is necessary to determine specificity-determining positions of Axl, which can guide the development of therapeutic molecules to combat Axl misregulation.

Karakulak Tülay, Rifaioglu Ahmet Sureyya, Rodrigues João P G L M, Karaca Ezgi


Axl, HADDOCK, molecular dynamics, protein selectivity, sequence analysis