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Importance of CH/π hydrogen bonds in recognition of the core motif in proline-recognition domains: An Ab initio fragment molecular orbital study

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Abstract

We examined CH/π hydrogen bonds in protein/ligand complexes involving at least one proline residue using the ab initio fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method and the program CHPI. FMO calculations were carried out at the Hartree–Fock (HF)/6-31G*, HF/6-31G**, second-order Møller–Plesset perturbation (MP2)/6-31G*, and MP2/6-31G** levels for three Src homology 3 (SH3) domains and five proline-recognition domains (PRDs) complexed with their corresponding ligand peptides. PRDs use a conserved set of aromatic residues to recognize proline-rich sequences of specific ligands. Many CH/π hydrogen bonds were identified in these complexes. CH/π hydrogen bonds occurred, in particular, in the central part of the proline-rich motifs. Our results suggest that CH/π hydrogen bonds are important in the recognition of SH3 and PRDs by their ligand peptides and play a vital role in the signal transduction system. Combined use of the FMO method and CHPI analysis is a valuable tool for the study of protein/protein and protein/ligand interactions and may be useful in rational drug design. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem 2011

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