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Conformational Dynamics in FKBP Domains: Relevance to Molecular Signaling and Drug Design

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 1 ]


David M. LeMaster and Griselda Hernandez   Pages 5 - 26 ( 22 )


Among the 22 FKBP domains in the human genome, FKBP12.6 and the first FKBP domains (FK1) of FKBP51 and FKBP52 are evolutionarily and structurally most similar to the archetypical FKBP12. As such, the development of inhibitors with selectivity among these four FKBP domains poses a significant challenge for structure-based design. The pleiotropic effects of these FKBP domains in a range of signaling processes such as the regulation of ryanodine receptor calcium channels by FKBP12 and FKBP12.6 and steroid receptor regulation by the FK1 domains of FKBP51 and FKBP52 amply justify the efforts to develop selective therapies. In contrast to their close structural similarities, these four FKBP domains exhibit a substantial diversity in their conformational flexibility. A number of distinct conformational transitions have been characterized for FKBP12 spanning timeframes from 20 s to 10 ns and in each case these dynamics have been shown to markedly differ from the conformational behavior for one or more of the other three FKBP domains. Protein flexibilitybased inhibitor design could draw upon the transitions that are significantly populated in only one of the targeted proteins. Both the similarities and differences among these four proteins valuably inform the understanding of how dynamical effects propagate across the FKBP domains as well as potentially how such intramolecular transitions might couple to the larger scale transitions that are central to the signaling complexes in which these FKBP domains function.


Allostery, conformational dynamics, crystallography, FKBP domain, NMR.


Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York, 12201, USA; Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany - SUNY, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York, 12201, USA.

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