Andrzej Kolinski Research Group

Coarse-grained protein modeling

Modeling Software & Servers

Biomolecules — dynamics & interactions


Why do proteins divide into domains? Insights from lattice model simulations


Biomacromolecules, 8:3519–24, 2007


<p>It is known that larger globular proteins are built from domains, relatively independent structural units. A domain size seems to be limited, and a single domain consists of from few tens to a couple of hundred amino acids. Based on Monte Carlo simulations of a reduced protein model restricted to the face centered simple cubic lattice, with a minimal set of short-range and long-range interactions, we have shown that some model sequences upon the folding transition spontaneously divide into separate domains. The observed domain sizes closely correspond to the sizes of real protein domains. Short chains with a proper sequence pattern of the hydrophobic and polar residues undergo a two-state folding transition to the structurally ordered globular state, while similar longer sequences follow a multistate transition. Homopolymeric (uniformly hydrophobic) chains and random heteropolymers undergo a continuous collapse transition into a single globule, and the globular state is much less ordered. Thus, the factors responsible for the multidomain structure of proteins are sufficiently long polypeptide chain and characteristic, protein-like, sequence patterns. These findings provide some hints for the analysis of real sequences aimed at prediction of the domain structure of large proteins.</p>