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Mol Biosyst. 2012 Jan;8(1):27-32. doi: 10.1039/c1mb05251a. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Disease mutations in disordered regions--exception to the rule?

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1
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.

Abstract

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) have been implicated in a number of human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders. Although for some of these conditions molecular mechanisms are now better understood, the big picture connecting distinct structural properties and functional repertoire of IDPs to pathogenesis and disease progression is still incomplete. Recent studies suggest that signaling and regulatory roles carried out by IDPs require them to be tightly regulated, and that altered IDP abundance may lead to disease. Here, we propose another link between IDPs and disease that takes into account disease-associated missense mutations located in the intrinsically disordered regions. We argue that such mutations are more prevalent and have larger functional impact than previously thought. In addition, we demonstrate that deleterious amino acid substitutions that cause disorder-to-order transitions are particularly enriched among disease mutations compared to neutral polymorphisms. Finally, we discuss potential differences in functional outcomes between disease mutations in ordered and disordered regions, and challenge the conventional structure-centric view of missense mutations.

PMID:
22080206
PMCID:
PMC3307532
DOI:
10.1039/c1mb05251a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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