Long range dynamic effects of point-mutations trap a response regulator in an active conformation.

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When a point-mutation in a protein elicits a functional change, it is most common to assign this change to local structural perturbations. Here we show that point-mutations, distant from an essential highly dynamic kinase recognition loop in the response regulator Spo0F, lock this loop in an active conformation. This 'conformational trapping' results in functionally hyperactive Spo0F. Consequently, point-mutations are seen to affect functionally critical motions both close to and far from the mutational site.





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Bobay, Benjamin G, Richele J Thompson, James A Hoch and John Cavanagh (2010). Long range dynamic effects of point-mutations trap a response regulator in an active conformation. FEBS letters, 584(19). pp. 4203–4207. 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.08.051 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28895.

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Benjamin Bobay

Assistant Professor in Radiology

I am the Assistant Director of the Duke University NMR Center and an Assistant Professor in the Duke Radiology Department. I was originally trained as a structural biochemist with an emphasis on utilizing NMR and continue to use this technique daily helping collaborators characterize protein structures and small molecules through a diverse set of NMR experiments. Through the structural characterization of various proteins, from both planta and eukaryotes, I have developed a robust protocol of utilizing computational biology for describing binding events, mutations, post-translations modifications (PTMs), and/or general behavior within in silico solution scenarios. I have utilized these techniques in collaborations ranging from plant pathologists at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences department at the University of Amsterdam to biomedical engineers at North Carolina State University to professors in the Pediatrics department at Duke University. These studies have centered around the structural and functional consequences of PTMs (such as phosphorylation), mutation events, truncation of multi-domain proteins, dimer pulling experiments, to screening of large databases of ligands for potential binding events. Through this combination of NMR and computational biology I have amassed 50 peer-reviewed published articles and countless roles on scientific projects, as well as the development of several tutorials concerning the creation of ligand databases and high-throughput screening of large databases utilizing several different molecular dynamic and computational docking programs.

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