Mutations in protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) are connected to intellectual disability and cancer. It has been hypothesized that these mutations might disrupt the autoinhibition and phosphorylation-induced activation of PP2A. Since they are located far from both the active and substrate binding sites, it is unclear how they exert their effect. We performed allosteric pathway analysis based on molecular dynamics simulations and combined it with biochemical experiments to investigate the autoinhibition of PP2A. In the wild type (WT), the C-arm of the regulatory subunit B56δ obstructs the active and substrate binding sites exerting a dual autoinhibition effect. We find that the disease mutant, E198K, severely weakens the allosteric pathways that stabilize the C-arm in the WT. Instead, the strongest allosteric pathways in E198K take a different route that promotes exposure of the substrate binding site. To facilitate the allosteric pathway analysis, we introduce a path clustering algorithm for lumping pathways into channels. We reveal remarkable similarities between the allosteric channels of E198K and those in phosphorylation-activated WT, suggesting that the autoinhibition can be alleviated through a conserved mechanism. In contrast, we find that another disease mutant, E200K, which is in spatial proximity of E198, does not repartition the allosteric pathways leading to the substrate binding site; however, it may still induce exposure of the active site. This finding agrees with our biochemical data, allowing us to predict the activity of PP2A with the phosphorylated B56δ and provide insight into how disease mutations in spatial proximity alter the enzymatic activity in surprisingly different mechanisms.
Disease mutations and phosphorylation alter the allosteric pathways involved in autoinhibition of protein phosphatase 2A
Kirill A. Konovalov, Cheng-Guo Wu, Yunrui Qiu, Vijaya Kumar Balakrishnan, Pankaj Singh Parihar, Michael S. O’Connor, Yongna Xing, Xuhui Huang; Disease mutations and phosphorylation alter the allosteric pathways involved in autoinhibition of protein phosphatase 2A. J. Chem. Phys. 7 June 2023; 158 (21): 215101. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0150272
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