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J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2015;33(5):1037-50. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2014.926256. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Cell communication using intrinsically disordered proteins: what can syndecans say?

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a Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences , Moscow Region, Pushchino 142290 , Russia.


Because intrinsically disordered proteins are incapable of forming unique tertiary structures in isolation, their interaction with partner structures enables them to play important roles in many different biological functions. Therefore, such proteins are usually multifunctional, and their ability to perform their major function, as well as accessory functions, depends on the characteristics of a given interaction. The present paper demonstrates, using predictions from two programs, that the transmembrane proteoglycans syndecans are natively disordered because of their diverse functions and large number of interaction partners. Syndecans perform multiple functions during development, damage repair, tumor growth, angiogenesis, and neurogenesis. By mediating the binding of a large number of extracellular ligands to their receptors, these proteoglycans trigger a cascade of reactions that subsequently regulate various cell processes: cytoskeleton formation, proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, and migration. The occurrences of 20 amino acids in syndecans 1-4 from 25 animals were compared with those in 17 animal proteomes. Gly + Ala, Thr, Glu, and Pro were observed to predominate in the syndecans, contributing to the lack of an ordered structure. In contrast, there were many fewer amino acids in syndecans that promote an ordered structure, such as Cys, Trp, Asn, and His. In addition, a region rich in Asp has been identified between two heparan sulfate-binding sites in the ectodomains, and a region rich in Lys has been identified in the conserved C1 site of the cytoplasmic domain. These particular regions play an essential role in the various functions of syndecans due to their lack of structure.


adhesion; cell matrix; disordered regions; intrinsically disordered proteins; library of disordered patterns; transmembrane proteoglycans

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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