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Allosteric interactions in the Hsp70 proteins are linked with their regulatory mechanisms and cellular functions. Despite significant progress in structural and functional characterization of the Hsp70 proteins fundamental questions concerning modularity of the allosteric interaction networks and hierarchy of signaling pathways in the Hsp70 chaperones remained largely unexplored and poorly understood. In this work, we proposed an integrated computational strategy that combined atomistic and coarse-grained simulations with coevolutionary analysis and network modeling of the residue interactions. A novel aspect of this work is the incorporation of dynamic residue correlations and coevolutionary residue dependencies in the construction of allosteric interaction networks and signaling pathways. We found that functional sites involved in allosteric regulation of Hsp70 may be characterized by structural stability, proximity to global hinge centers and local structural environment that is enriched by highly coevolving flexible residues. These specific characteristics may be necessary for regulation of allosteric structural transitions and could distinguish regulatory sites from nonfunctional conserved residues. The observed confluence of dynamics correlations and coevolutionary residue couplings with global networking features may determine modular organization of allosteric interactions and dictate localization of key mediating sites. Community analysis of the residue interaction networks revealed that concerted rearrangements of local interacting modules at the inter-domain interface may be responsible for global structural changes and a population shift in the DnaK chaperone. The inter-domain communities in the Hsp70 structures harbor the majority of regulatory residues involved in allosteric signaling, suggesting that these sites could be integral to the network organization and coordination of structural changes. Using a network-based formalism of allostery, we introduced a community-hopping model of allosteric communication. Atomistic reconstruction of signaling pathways in the DnaK structures captured a direction-specific mechanism and molecular details of signal transmission that are fully consistent with the mutagenesis experiments. The results of our study reconciled structural and functional experiments from a networkcentric perspective by showing that global properties of the residue interaction networks and coevolutionary signatures may be linked with specificity and diversity of allosteric regulation mechanisms.


This article was originally published in PLoS Computational Biology, volume 13, issue 1, in 2017. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005299

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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