One of the major challenges in the genomic era is annotating structure/function to the vast quantities of sequence information now available. Indeed, most of the protein sequence database lacks comprehensive annotation, even when experimental evidence exists. Further, within structurally resolved and functionally annotated protein domains, additional functionalities contained in these domains are not apparent. To add further complication, small changes in the amino-acid sequence can lead to profound changes in both structure and function, underscoring the need for rapid and reliable methods to analyze these types of data. Phylogenetic profiles provide a quantitative method that can relate the structural and functional properties of proteins, as well as their evolutionary relationships. Using all of the structurally resolved Src-Homology-2 (SH2) domains, we demonstrate that knowledge-bases can be used to create single-amino acid phylogenetic profiles which reliably annotate lipid-binding. Indeed, these measures isolate the known phosphotyrosine and hydrophobic pockets as integral to lipid-binding function. In addition, we determined that the SH2 domain of Tec family kinases bind to lipids with varying affinity and specificity. Simulating mutations in Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) that cause X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA) predict that these mutations alter lipid-binding, which we confirm experimentally. In light of these results, we propose that XLA-causing mutations in the SH3-SH2 domain of BTK alter lipidbinding, which could play a causative role in the XLA-phenotype. Overall, our study suggests that the number of lipid-binding proteins is drastically underestimated and, with further development, phylogenetic profiles can provide a method for rapidly increasing the functional annotation of protein sequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Cell Biology