Oral Presentation 2014 International Biophysics Congress

Intrinsically semi-disordered state and its role in induced folding and protein aggregation  (#142)

Yaoqi Zhou 1 , Yuedong Yang 1
  1. Griffith University, Southport, QLD, Australia

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) refer to those proteins without fixed three-dimensional structures under physiological conditions. Although experiments suggest that the conformations of IDPs can vary from random coils, semi-compact globules, to compact globules with different contents of secondary structures, computational efforts to separate IDPs into different states are not yet successful. Here, we found that a semi-disordered state can be defined as having about 50% predicted probability to be disordered or ordered. This semi-disordered state is partially collapsed with intermediate levels of predicted solvent accessibility and secondary structure content. The relative difference in compositions between semi-disordered and fully disordered regions is highly correlated with amyloid aggregation propensity. In addition, we observed that some semi-disordered regions participate in induced folding, and others play key roles in protein aggregation. More specifically, a semi-disordered region is amyloidogenic in fully unstructured proteins (such as alpha-synuclein and Sup35) but prone to local unfolding that exposes the hydrophobic core to aggregation in structured globular proteins (such as SOD1 and lysozyme). A transition from full disorder to semi-disorder at about 30–40 Qs is observed in the poly-Q (poly-glutamine) tract of huntingtin. These results indicate the usefulness of three-state classification (order, semi-disorder, and full-disorder) in distinguishing non-folding from induced-folding and aggregation-resistant from aggregation-prone IDPs and in locating weakly stable, locally unfolding, and potentially aggregation regions in structured proteins.