Source:Molecules, 20:10763-10780, 2015
Most of the current docking procedures are focused on fine conformational adjustments of assembled complexes and fail to reproduce large-scale protein motion. In this paper, we test a new modeling approach developed to address this problem. CABS-dock is a versatile and efficient tool for modeling the structure, dynamics and interactions of protein complexes. The docking protocol employs a coarse-grained representation of proteins, a simplified model of interactions and advanced protocols for conformational sampling. CABS-dock is one of the very few tools that allow unrestrained docking with large conformational freedom of the receptor. In an example application we modeled the process of complex assembly between two proteins: Troponin C (TnC) and the N-terminal helix of Troponin I (TnI N-helix), which occurs in vivo during muscle contraction. Docking simulations illustrated how the TnC molecule undergoes significant conformational transition on complex formation, a phenomenon that can be modeled only when protein flexibility is properly accounted for. This way our procedure opens up a new possibility for studying mechanisms of protein complex assembly, which may be a supporting tool for rational drug design.