Conformational dynamics of cancer-associated MyD88-TIR domain mutant L252P (L265P) allosterically tilts the landscape toward homo-dimerization

Chendi Zhan, Ruxi Qi, Guanghong Wei, Emine Guven-Maiorov, Ruth Nussinov, Buyong Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MyD88 is an essential adaptor protein, which mediates the signaling of the toll-like and interleukin-1 receptors' superfamily. The MyD88 L252P (L265P) mutation has been identified in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The identification of this mutation has been a major advance in the diagnosis of patients with aldenstrom macroglobulinemia and related lymphoid neoplasms. Here we used computational methods to characterize the conformational effects of the mutation. Our molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the mutation allosterically quenched the global conformational dynamics of the toll/IL-1R (TIR) domain, and readjusted its salt bridges and dynamic community network. Specifically, the mutation changed the orientation and reduced the fluctuation of α-helix 3, possibly through eliminating/weakening ~8 salt bridges and enhancing the salt bridge D225-K258. Using the energy landscape of the TIR domains of MyD88, we identified two dynamic conformational basins, which correspond to the binding sites used in homo- and hetero-oligomerization, respectively. Our results indicate that the mutation stabilizes the core of the homo-dimer interface of the MyD88-TIR domain, and increases the population of homo-dimer-compatible conformational states in MyD88 family proteins. However, the dampened motion restricts its ability to heterodimerize with other TIR domains, thereby curtailing physiological signaling. In conclusion, the L252P both shifts the landscape toward homo-dimerization and restrains the dynamics of the MyD88-TIR domain, which disfavors its hetero-dimerization with other TIR domains. We further put these observations within the framework of MyD88-mediated cell signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalProtein Engineering, Design and Selection
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • MyD88
  • TIR domain
  • TLR
  • inflammation
  • protein dynamics


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