The Energetic Network of Hotspot Residues between Cdc25B Phosphatase and its Protein Substrate

Jungsan Sohn, Johannes Rudolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We have investigated the functional network of hotspot residues at the remote docking site of two cell cycle regulators, namely Cdc25B phosphatase and its native protein substrate Cdk2-pTpY/CycA. Specifically, we have studied the roles of energetically important residues (Arg488, Arg492, Tyr497 on Cdc25B and Asp206 and Asp210 on Cdk2-pTpY/CycA) by generating a diverse set of substitutions and performing double and triple mutant cycle analyses. This transient protein-protein interaction is particularly well-suited for this mutagenic approach because various control experiments ensure that the effect of each mutation is limited to the interaction of interest. We find binary coupling energies for ion pairs and hydrogen bonds ranging from 0.7 kcal/mol to 3.9 kcal/mol and ternary coupling energies of 1.9 kcal/mol and 2.8 kcal/mol. Overall our biochemical analyses are in good agreement with the docked structure of the complex and suggest the following roles for the individual hotspot residues on Cdc25B. The most important contributor, Arg492, forms a specific and tight bidentate interaction with Asp206 and a weaker interaction with Asp210 that cannot be replaced by a Lys. Although Tyr497 does not directly participate in this ionic network, it is important for buttressing Arg492 using both its hydrophobic (aromatic ring) and hydrophilic characteristics (hydrogen bonding). Arg488 participates less specifically in the electrostatic network with Asp206 and Asp210 of the protein substrate as it can partially be replaced by Lys. Our data provide insight how a cluster of residues in a docking site remote from the site of the chemical reaction can bring about efficient and specific substrate recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1071
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 6 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cdc25 phosphatase
  • Cdk2
  • coupling energy
  • mutant cycle analysis
  • protein-protein interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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