Unraveling the importance of protein-protein interaction: application of a computational alanine-scanning mutagenesis to the study of the IgG1 streptococcal protein G (C2 fragment) complex

J Phys Chem B. 2006 Jun 8;110(22):10962-9. doi: 10.1021/jp054760d.


Alanine-scanning mutagenesis of protein-protein interfacial residues is a very important process for rational drug design. In this study, we have used the improved MM-PBSA approach that combining molecular mechanics and continuum solvent permits one to calculate the free energy differences through alanine mutation. To identify the binding determinants of the complex formed between the IgG1 (immunoglobulin-binding protein G) and protein G, we have extended the experimental alanine scanning mutagenesis study to both proteins of this complex and, therefore, to all interfacial residues of this binding complex. As a result, we present new residues that can be characterized as warm spots and, therefore, are important for complex formation. We have further increased the understanding of the functionality of this improved computational alanine-scanning mutagenesis approach testing its sensitivity to a protein-protein complex with an interface made up of residues mainly polar. In this study, we also have improved the method for the detection of an important amino acid residue that frequently constitutes a hot spot--tryptophan.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutagenesis
  • Protein Binding
  • Thermodynamics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • IgG Fc-binding protein, Streptococcus
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Alanine