Comparative surface geometry of the protein kinase family
Identifying conserved pockets on the surfaces of a family of proteins can provide insight into conserved geometric features and sites of protein-protein interaction. Here we describe mapping and comparison of the surfaces of aligned crystallographic structures, using the protein kinase family as a model. Pockets are rapidly computed using two computer programs, FADE and Crevasse. FADE uses gradients of atomic density to locate grooves and pockets on the molecular surface. Crevasse, a new piece
... f software, splits the FADE output into distinct pockets. The computation was run on 10 kinase catalytic cores aligned on the aF-helix, and the resulting pockets spatially clustered. The active site cleft appears as a large, contiguous site that can be subdivided into nucleotide and substrate docking sites. Substrate specificity determinants in the active site cleft between serine/threonine and tyrosine kinases are visible and distinct. The active site clefts cluster tightly, showing a conserved spatial relationship between the active site and aF-helix in the C-lobe. When the aC-helix is examined, there are multiple mechanisms for anchoring the helix using spatially conserved docking sites. A novel site at the top of the N-lobe is present in all the kinases, and there is a large conserved pocket over the hinge and the aC-b4 loop. Other pockets on the kinase core are strongly conserved but have not yet been mapped to a protein-protein interaction. Sites identified by this algorithm have revealed structural and spatially conserved features of the kinase family and potential conserved intermolecular and intramolecular binding sites. The clustering analysis for this article was generated using SAS software, Version 9.1 of the SAS System for Windows.