Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Roy J. Carver Department of, Baker Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics
Journal or Book Title
Journal of Molecular Biology
Information readout in the DNA minor groove is accompanied by substantial DNA deformations, such as sugar switching between the two conformational domains, B-like C2′-endo and A-like C3′-endo. The effect of sugar puckering on the sequence-dependent protein–DNA interactions has not been studied systematically, however. Here, we analyzed the structural role of A-like nucleotides in 156 protein–DNA complexes solved by X-ray crystallography and NMR. To this end, a new algorithm was developed to distinguish interactions in the minor groove from those in the major groove, and to calculate the solvent-accessible surface areas in each groove separately. Based on this approach, we found a striking difference between the sets of amino acids interacting with B-like and A-like nucleotides in the minor groove. Polar amino acids mostly interact with B-nucleotides, while hydrophobic amino acids interact extensively with A-nucleotides (a hydrophobicity–structure correlation). This tendency is consistent with the larger exposure of hydrophobic surfaces in the case of A-like sugars. Overall, the A-like nucleotides aid in achieving protein-induced fit in two major ways. First, hydrophobic clusters formed by several consecutive A-like sugars interact cooperatively with the non-polar surfaces in proteins. Second, the sugar switching occurs in large kinks promoted by direct protein contact, predominantly at the pyrimidine–purine dimeric steps. The sequence preference for the B-to-A sugar repuckering, observed for pyrimidines, suggests that the described DNA deformations contribute to specificity of the protein–DNA recognition in the minor groove.
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Tolstorukov, Michael Y.; Jernigan, Robert L.; and Zhurkin, Victor B., "Protein–DNA Hydrophobic Recognition in the Minor Groove is Facilitated by Sugar Switching" (2004). Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology Publications. 166.