Analysis of secondary structural and physicochemical changes in protein–protein complexes

Conformation switching in protein–protein complexes is considered important for the molecular recognition process. Overall analysis of 123 protein–protein complexes in a benchmark data-set showed that 6.8% of residues switched over their secondary structure conformation upon complex formation. Amino acid residue-wise preference for conformation change has been analyzed in binding and non-binding site residues separately. In this analysis, residues such as Ser, Leu, Glu, and Lys had higher frequency of secondary structural conformation change. The change of helix to coil and sheet to coil conformation and vice versa has been observed frequently, whereas the conformation change of helix to extended sheet occurred rarely in the studied complexes. Influence of conformation change toward the N and C terminal on either side of the binding site residues has been analyzed. Further, analysis on φ and ψ angle variation, conservation, stability, and solvent accessibility have been performed on binding site residues. Knowledge obtained from the present study could be effectively employed in the protein–protein modeling and docking studies.