Protein-Protein Interactions Mediated by Helical Tertiary Structure Motifs

J Am Chem Soc. 2015 Sep 16;137(36):11622-30. doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b05527. Epub 2015 Sep 4.


The modulation of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) by means of creating or stabilizing secondary structure conformations is a rapidly growing area of research. Recent success in the inhibition of difficult PPIs by secondary structure mimetics also points to potential limitations, because often, specific cases require tertiary structure mimetics. To streamline protein structure-based inhibitor design, we have previously described the examination of protein complexes in the Protein Data Bank where α-helices or β-strands form critical contacts. Here, we examined coiled coils and helix bundles that mediate complex formation to create a platform for the discovery of potential tertiary structure mimetics. Though there has been extensive analysis of coiled coil motifs, the interactions between pre-formed coiled coils and globular proteins have not been systematically analyzed. This article identifies critical features of these helical interfaces with respect to coiled coil and other helical PPIs. We expect the analysis to prove useful for the rational design of modulators of this fundamental class of protein assemblies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dimerization
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary*
  • Proteins / chemistry*


  • Proteins