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Plos One : Effects of Molecular Crowding on the Dynamics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Volume 7

By Levy, Yaakov, Koby

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Book Id: WPLBN0003936851
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : Effects of Molecular Crowding on the Dynamics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Volume 7  
Author: Levy, Yaakov, Koby
Volume: Volume 7
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Levy, Y. K. (n.d.). Plos One : Effects of Molecular Crowding on the Dynamics of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Volume 7. Retrieved from

Description : Inside cells, the concentration of macromolecules can reach up to 400 g/L. In such crowded environments, proteins are expected to behave differently than in vitro. It has been shown that the stability and the folding rate of a globular protein can be altered by the excluded volume effect produced by a high density of macromolecules. However, macromolecular crowding effects on intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are less explored. These proteins can be extremely dynamic and potentially sample a wide ensemble of conformations under non-denaturing conditions. The dynamic properties of IDPs are intimately related to the timescale of conformational exchange within the ensemble, which govern target recognition and how these proteins function. In this work, we investigated the macromolecular crowding effects on the dynamics of several IDPs by measuring the NMR spin relaxation parameters of three disordered proteins (ProTa, TC1, and a-synuclein) with different extents of residual structures. To aid the interpretation of experimental results, we also performed an MD simulation of ProTa. Based on the MD analysis, a simple model to correlate the observed changes in relaxation rates to the alteration in protein motions under crowding conditions was proposed. Our results show that 1) IDPs remain at least partially disordered despite the presence of high concentration of other macromolecules, 2) the crowded environment has differential effects on the conformational propensity of distinct regions of an IDP, which may lead to selective stabilization of certain target-binding motifs, and 3) the segmental motions of IDPs on the nanosecond timescale are retained under crowded conditions. These findings strongly suggest that IDPs function as dynamic structural ensembles in cellular environments.


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