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Post-translational modifications (PTMs) represent an important regulatory instrument that modulates structure, dynamics and function of proteins. The large number of PTM sites in the Hsp90 proteins that are scattered throughout different domains indicated that synchronization of multiple PTMs through a combinatorial code can be invoked as an important mechanism to orchestrate diverse chaperone functions and recognize multiple client proteins. In this study, we have combined structural and coevolutionary analysis with molecular simulations and perturbation response scanning analysis of the Hsp90 structures to characterize functional role of PTM sites in allosteric regulation. The results reveal a small group of conserved PTMs that act as global mediators of collective dynamics and allosteric communications in the Hsp90 structures, while the majority of flexible PTM sites serve as sensors and carriers of the allosteric structural changes. This study provides a comprehensive structural, dynamic and network analysis of PTM sites across Hsp90 proteins, identifying specific role of regulatory PTM hotspots in the allosteric mechanism of the Hsp90 cycle. We argue that plasticity of a combinatorial PTM code in the Hsp90 may be enacted through allosteric coupling between effector and sensor PTM residues, which would allow for timely response to structural requirements of multiple modified enzymes.


This article was originally published in Scientific Reports, volume 8, in 2018. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-25329-4

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



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