Transmembrane Helix Packing of ErbB/Neu Receptor in Membrane Environment: A Molecular Dynamics Study

Abstract : Dimerization or oligomerization of the ErbB/Neu receptors are necessary but not sufficient for initiation of receptor signaling. The two intracellular domains must be properly oriented for the juxtaposition of the kinase domains allowing trans-phosphorylation. This suggests that the transmembrane (TM) domain acts as a guide for defining the proper orientation of the intracellular domains. Two structural models, with the two helices either in left-handed or in right-handed coiling have been proposed as the TM domain structure of the active receptor. Because experimental data do not distinguish clearly helix-helix packing, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to investigate the energetic factors that drive Neu TM-TM interactions of the wild and the oncogenic receptor (Val664/Glu mutation) in DMPC or in POPC environments. MD results indicate that helix-lipid interactions in the bilayer core are extremely similar in the two environments and raise the role of the juxtamembrane residues in helix insertion and helix-helix packing. The TM domain shows a greater propensity to adopt a left-handed structure in DMPC, with helices in optimal position for strong inter-helical Hbonds induced by the Glu mutation. In POPC, the right-handed structure is preferentially formed with the participation of water in inter-helical Hbonds. The two structural arrangements of the Neu(TM) helices both with GG4 residue motif in close contact at the interface are permissible in the membrane environment. According to the hypothesis of a monomer-dimer equilibrium of the proteins it is likely that the bilayer imposes structural constraints that favor dimerization-competent structure responsible of the proper topology necessary for receptor activation.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 6, 2006 - 3:59:31 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00111939, version 1



Pierre Aller, Norbert Garnier, Monique Genest. Transmembrane Helix Packing of ErbB/Neu Receptor in Membrane Environment: A Molecular Dynamics Study. Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics, 2006, 24 (3), pp.209-228. ⟨hal-00111939⟩



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