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In silico Investigation of the Disease-Associated Retinoschisin C110Y and C219G Mutants

The juvenile X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is a retinal disease caused by mutations in the secretory protein, retinoschisin (RS1). Majority of the disease is resulted from single point mutations on the RS1 discoidin domain with cysteine mutations being related to some of the more severe cases of XLRS. Previous studies have indicated that two mutations (C110Y and C219G), which involve cysteines that form intramolecular disulfide bonds in the native discoidin domain, resulted in different oligomerization states of the proteins and did not correlate with the degree of protein stability as calculated by the change in folding free energy. Through homology modeling, bioinformatics predictions, molecular dynamics (MD) and docking simulations, we attempt to investigate the effects of these two mutations on the structure of the RS1 discoidin domain in relevance to the discrepancy found between structural stability and aggregation propensity. Based on our findings, this discrepancy can be explained by the ability of C110Y mutant to establish suitable modules for initiating amorphous aggregation and to expand the aggregating mass through predominantly hydrophobic interactions. The low capability of C219G mutant to oligomerize, on the other hand, may be due to its greater structural instability and lesser hydrophobic tendency, two properties that may be unsupportive of aggregation. The results, altogether, indicate that aggregation propensity in the RS1 C110Y mutant is dependent upon the formation of suitable aggregating substrates for propagation of aggregation and not directly related to or determined by overall structural instability. As for the wildtype protein, the binding specificity of the spikes for biological function and the formation of octameric structure are contributed by important loop interactions, as well as evolved structural and sequence-based properties that prevent aggregation. Key words: Juvenile X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS); Retinoschisin (RS1); In silico; Protein stability; Aggregation propensity.

This article can be cited as:
J.W. Wu, H-L Liu. In silico Investigation of the Disease-Associated Retinoschisin C110Y and C219G Mutants J. Biomol Struct Dyn 29(5), 937-959 (2012).

Josephine W. Wu1
Hsuan-Liang Liu1,2*

1Institute of Biotechnology, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
2Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan

*Corresponding author:
Hsuan-Liang Liu
Phone: 886-2- 2771-2171, Ext. 2542
Fax: 886-2-2731-7117
E-mail: f10894@ntut.edu.tw

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