Molecular basis for the dissociation dynamics of protein A-immunoglobulin G1 complex

Fu-Feng Liu, Bo Huang, Xiao-Yan Dong, Yan Sun
PloS One 2013, 8 (6): e66935
Staphylococcus aureus protein A (SpA) is the most popular affinity ligand for immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1). However, the molecular basis for the dissociation dynamics of SpA-IgG1 complex is unclear. Herein, coarse-grained (CG) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the Martini force field were used to study the dissociation dynamics of the complex. The CG-MD simulations were first verified by the agreement in the structural and interactional properties of SpA and human IgG1 (hIgG1) in the association process between the CG-MD and all-atom MD at different NaCl concentrations. Then, the CG-MD simulation studies focused on the molecular insight into the dissociation dynamics of SpA-hIgG1 complex at pH 3.0. It is found that there are four steps in the dissociation process of the complex. First, there is a slight conformational adjustment of helix II in SpA. This is followed by the phenomena that the electrostatic interactions provided by the three hot spots (Glu143, Arg146 and Lys154) of helix II of SpA break up, leading to the dissociation of helix II from the binding site of hIgG1. Subsequently, breakup of the hydrophobic interactions between helix I (Phe132, Tyr133 and His137) in SpA and hIgG1 occurs, resulting in the disengagement of helix I from its binding site of hIgG1. Finally, the non-specific interactions between SpA and hIgG1 decrease slowly till disappearance, leading to the complete dissociation of the SpA-hIgG1 complex. This work has revealed that CG-MD coupled with the Martini force field is an effective method for studying the dissociation dynamics of protein-protein complex.

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