Experimentally guided structural modeling and dynamics analysis of Hsp90-p53 interactions: allosteric regulation of the Hsp90 chaperone by a client protein

J Chem Inf Model. 2013 Nov 25;53(11):2962-78. doi: 10.1021/ci400434g. Epub 2013 Nov 12.


A fundamental role of the Hsp90 chaperone system in mediating maturation of protein clients is essential for the integrity of signaling pathways involved in cell cycle control and organism development. Molecular characterization of Hsp90 interactions with client proteins is fundamental to understanding the activity of many tumor-inducing signaling proteins and presents an active area of structural and biochemical studies. In this work, we have probed mechanistic aspects of allosteric regulation of Hsp90 by client proteins via a detailed computational study of Hsp90 interactions with the tumor suppressor protein p53. Experimentally guided protein docking and molecular dynamics structural refinement have reconstructed the recognition-competent states of the Hsp90-p53 complexes that are consistent with the NMR studies. Protein structure network analysis has identified critical interacting networks and specific residues responsible for structural integrity and stability of the Hsp90-p53 complexes. Coarse-grained modeling was used to characterize the global dynamics of the regulatory complexes and map p53-induced changes in the conformational equilibrium of Hsp90. The variations in the functional dynamics profiles of the Hsp90-p53 complexes are consistent with the NMR studies and could explain differences in the functional role of the alternative binding sites. Despite the overall similarity of the collective movements and the same global interaction footprint, p53 binding at the C-terminal interaction site of Hsp90 may have a more significant impact on the chaperone dynamics, which is consistent with the stronger allosteric effect of these interactions revealed by the experimental studies. The results suggest that p53-induced modulation of the global dynamics and structurally stable interaction networks can target the regulatory hinge regions and facilitate stabilization of the closed Hsp90 dimer that underlies the fundamental stimulatory effect of the p53 client.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Amino Acids / chemistry*
  • Binding Sites
  • Databases, Protein
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Docking Simulation*
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Thermodynamics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53