MutSα's multi-domain allosteric response to three DNA damage types revealed by machine learning

Academic Article


  • MutSα is a key component in the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway. This protein is responsible for initiating the signaling pathways for DNA repair or cell death. Herein we investigate this heterodimer's post-recognition, post-binding response to three types of DNA damage involving cytotoxic, anti-cancer agents-carboplatin, cisplatin, and FdU. Through a combination of supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques along with more traditional structural and kinetic analysis applied to all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) calculations, we predict that MutSα has a distinct response to each of the three damage types. Via a binary classification tree (a supervised machine learning technique), we identify key hydrogen bond motifs unique to each type of damage and suggest residues for experimental mutation studies. Through a combination of a recently developed clustering (unsupervised learning) algorithm, RMSF calculations, PCA, and correlated motions we predict that each type of damage causes MutSα to explore a specific region of conformation space. Detailed analysis suggests a short range effect for carboplatin-primarily altering the structures and kinetics of residues within 10 angstroms of the damaged DNA-and distinct longer-range effects for cisplatin and FdU. In our simulations, we also observe that a key phenylalanine residue-known to stack with a mismatched or unmatched bases in MMR-stacks with the base complementary to the damaged base in 88.61% of MD frames containing carboplatinated DNA. Similarly, this Phe71 stacks with the base complementary to damage in 91.73% of frames with cisplatinated DNA. This residue, however, stacks with the damaged base itself in 62.18% of trajectory frames with FdU-substituted DNA and has no stacking interaction at all in 30.72% of these frames. Each drug investigated here induces a unique perturbation in the MutSα complex, indicating the possibility of a distinct signaling event and specific repair or death pathway (or set of pathways) for a given type of damage.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9734558
  • Author List

  • Melvin RL; Thompson WG; Godwin RC; Gmeiner WH; Salsbury FR
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • MAR