Weighted Implementation of Suboptimal Paths (WISP): An Optimized Algorithm and Tool for Dynamical Network Analysis

J Chem Theory Comput. 2014 Feb 11;10(2):511-517. doi: 10.1021/ct4008603. Epub 2014 Jan 14.


Allostery can occur by way of subtle cooperation among protein residues (e.g., amino acids) even in the absence of large conformational shifts. Dynamical network analysis has been used to model this cooperation, helping to computationally explain how binding to an allosteric site can impact the behavior of a primary site many ångstroms away. Traditionally, computational efforts have focused on the most optimal path of correlated motions leading from the allosteric to the primary active site. We present a program called Weighted Implementation of Suboptimal Paths (WISP) capable of rapidly identifying additional suboptimal pathways that may also play important roles in the transmission of allosteric signals. Aside from providing signal redundancy, suboptimal paths traverse residues that, if disrupted through pharmacological or mutational means, could modulate the allosteric regulation of important drug targets. To demonstrate the utility of our program, we present a case study describing the allostery of HisH-HisF, an amidotransferase from T. maritima thermotiga. WISP and its VMD-based graphical user interface (GUI) can be downloaded from http://nbcr.ucsd.edu/wisp.