Research Article

In silico modeling of the Moniliophthora perniciosa Atg8 protein

Published: December 11, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (4) : 6619-6628 DOI: 10.4238/2013.December.11.13

Abstract

Autophagy is defined as an intracellular system of lysosomal degradation in eukaryotic cells, and the genes involved in this process are conserved from yeast to humans. Among these genes, ATG8 encodes a ubiquitin-like protein that is conjugated to a phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) membrane by the ubiquitination system. The Atg8p-PE complex is important in initiating the formation of the autophagosome and thus plays a critical role in autophagy. In silico modeling of Atg8p of Moniliophthora perniciosa revealed its three-dimensional structure and enabled comparison with its Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologue ScAtg8p. Some common and distinct features were observed between these two proteins, including the conservation of residues required to allow the interaction of α-helix1 with the ubiquitin core. However, the electrostatic potential surfaces of these helices differ, implying particular roles in selecting specific binding partners. The proposed structure was validated by the programs PROCHECK 3.4, ANOLEA, and QMEAN, which demonstrated 100% of amino acids located in favorable regions with low total energy. Our results showed that MpAtg8p contains the same functional domains (3 α-helices and 4 β-sheets) and is similar in structure as the ScAtg8p yeast. Both proteins have many conserved sequences in common, and therefore, their proposed three-dimensional models show similar configuration.

Autophagy is defined as an intracellular system of lysosomal degradation in eukaryotic cells, and the genes involved in this process are conserved from yeast to humans. Among these genes, ATG8 encodes a ubiquitin-like protein that is conjugated to a phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) membrane by the ubiquitination system. The Atg8p-PE complex is important in initiating the formation of the autophagosome and thus plays a critical role in autophagy. In silico modeling of Atg8p of Moniliophthora perniciosa revealed its three-dimensional structure and enabled comparison with its Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologue ScAtg8p. Some common and distinct features were observed between these two proteins, including the conservation of residues required to allow the interaction of α-helix1 with the ubiquitin core. However, the electrostatic potential surfaces of these helices differ, implying particular roles in selecting specific binding partners. The proposed structure was validated by the programs PROCHECK 3.4, ANOLEA, and QMEAN, which demonstrated 100% of amino acids located in favorable regions with low total energy. Our results showed that MpAtg8p contains the same functional domains (3 α-helices and 4 β-sheets) and is similar in structure as the ScAtg8p yeast. Both proteins have many conserved sequences in common, and therefore, their proposed three-dimensional models show similar configuration.