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Journal Articles International Journal of Molecular Sciences Year : 2020

Relevance of Electrostatic Charges in Compactness, Aggregation, and Phase Separation of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

Abstract

The abundance of intrinsic disorder in the protein realm and its role in a variety of physiological and pathological cellular events have strengthened the interest of the scientific community in understanding the structural and dynamical properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and regions (IDRs). Attempts at rationalizing the general principles underlying both conformational properties and transitions of IDPs/IDRs must consider the abundance of charged residues (Asp, Glu, Lys, and Arg) that typifies these proteins, rendering them assimilable to polyampholytes or polyelectrolytes. Their conformation strongly depends on both the charge density and distribution along the sequence (i.e., charge decoration) as highlighted by recent experimental and theoretical studies that have introduced novel descriptors. Published experimental data are revisited herein in the frame of this formalism, in a new and possibly unitary perspective. The physicochemical properties most directly affected by charge density and distribution are compaction and solubility, which can be described in a relatively simplified way by tools of polymer physics. Dissecting factors controlling such properties could contribute to better understanding complex biological phenomena, such as fibrillation and phase separation. Furthermore, this knowledge is expected to have enormous practical implications for the design, synthesis, and exploitation of bio-derived materials and the control of natural biological processes.
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hal-02929327 , version 1 (08-09-2020)

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Greta Bianchi, Sonia Longhi, Rita Grandori, Stefania Brocca. Relevance of Electrostatic Charges in Compactness, Aggregation, and Phase Separation of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2020, 21 (17), pp.6208. ⟨10.3390/ijms21176208⟩. ⟨hal-02929327⟩
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