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, 353 (5), 1118-28

Disordered p27Kip1 Exhibits Intrinsic Structure Resembling the Cdk2/cyclin A-bound Conformation

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Disordered p27Kip1 Exhibits Intrinsic Structure Resembling the Cdk2/cyclin A-bound Conformation

Sivashankar G Sivakolundu et al. J Mol Biol.

Abstract

p27Kip1 (p27) influences cell division by regulating nuclear cyclin-dependent kinases. Before binding, p27 is at least partially disordered and folds upon binding its Cdk/cyclin targets. 30-40% of human proteins, including p27, are predicted to contain disordered segments, and have been termed intrinsically unstructured proteins (IUPs). Unfortunately, the inherent dynamics of IUPs hamper detailed analysis of their structure/function relationships. Here, we describe the use of molecular dynamics (MD) computations and solution NMR spectroscopy to reveal that several segments of the p27 kinase inhibitory domain (p27-KID), in addition to the previously characterized helical segment, exist as highly populated, intrinsically folded structural units (IFSUs). Several IFSUs resemble structural features of bound p27-KID, while another exhibits alternative conformations. Interestingly, the highly conserved, specificity determining segment of p27 is shown to be highly disordered. Elucidation of IFSUs within p27-KID allows consideration of their influences on the thermodynamics and kinetics of Cdk/cyclin binding. The degree to which IFSUs are populated within p27-KID is surprising and suggests that other putative IUPs contain IFSUs that may be studied using similar techniques.

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