Bioinformatics Approaches for Predicting Disordered Protein Motifs.

TitleBioinformatics Approaches for Predicting Disordered Protein Motifs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBhowmick, P., M. Guharoy, and P. Tompa
JournalAdv Exp Med Biol
Date Published2015
KeywordsAlgorithms, Amino Acid Motifs, Amino Acid Sequence, Computational Biology, Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Conformation, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid

Short, linear motifs (SLiMs) in proteins are functional microdomains consisting of contiguous residue segments along the protein sequence, typically not more than 10 consecutive amino acids in length with less than 5 defined positions. Many positions are 'degenerate' thus offering flexibility in terms of the amino acid types allowed at those positions. Their short length and degenerate nature confers evolutionary plasticity meaning that SLiMs often evolve convergently. Further, SLiMs have a propensity to occur within intrinsically unstructured protein segments and this confers versatile functionality to unstructured regions of the proteome. SLiMs mediate multiple types of protein interactions based on domain-peptide recognition and guide functions including posttranslational modifications, subcellular localization of proteins, and ligand binding. SLiMs thus behave as modular interaction units that confer versatility to protein function and SLiM-mediated interactions are increasingly being recognized as therapeutic targets. In this chapter we start with a brief description about the properties of SLiMs and their interactions and then move on to discuss algorithms and tools including several web-based methods that enable the discovery of novel SLiMs (de novo motif discovery) as well as the prediction of novel occurrences of known SLiMs. Both individual amino acid sequences as well as sets of protein sequences can be scanned using these methods to obtain statistically overrepresented sequence patterns. Lists of putatively functional SLiMs are then assembled based on parameters such as evolutionary sequence conservation, disorder scores, structural data, gene ontology terms and other contextual information that helps to assess the functional credibility or significance of these motifs. These bioinformatics methods should certainly guide experiments aimed at motif discovery.

Alternate JournalAdv. Exp. Med. Biol.
PubMed ID26387106
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