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This article is part of the supplement: Eighth International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2009): Computational Biology

Open Access Proceedings

Comparative study of protein-protein interaction observed in PolyGalacturonase-Inhibiting Proteins from Phaseolus vulgaris and Glycine max and PolyGalacturonase from Fusarium moniliforme

Aditi Maulik, Hiren Ghosh and Soumalee Basu*

Author affiliations

Department of Bioinformatics, School of Biotechnology, West Bengal University of Technology BF-142, Salt Lake, Kolkata 700064, India

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2009, 10(Suppl 3):S19  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-S3-S19

Published: 3 December 2009



The PolyGalacturonase-Inhibiting Proteins (PGIP) of plant cell wall limit the invasion of phytopathogenic organisms by interacting with the enzyme PolyGalacturonase (PG) they secrete to degrade pectin present in the cell walls. PGIPs from different or same plant differ in their inhibitory activity towards the same PG. PGIP2 from Phaseolus vulgaris (Pv) inhibits the PG from Fusarium moniliforme (Fm) although PGIP1, another member of the multigene family from the same plant sharing 99% sequence similarity, cannot. Interestingly, PGIP3 from Glycine max (Gm) which is a homologue of PGIP2 is capable of inhibiting the same PG although the extent of similarity is lower and is 88%. It therefore appears that subtle changes in the sequence of plant PGIPs give rise to different specificity for inhibiting pathogenic PGs and there exists no direct dependence of function on the extent of sequence similarity.


Structural information for any PGIP-PG complex being absent, we resorted to molecular modelling to gain insight into the mechanism of recognition and discrimination of PGs by PGIPs. We have built homology models of PvPGIP1 and GmPGIP3 using the crystal structure of PvPGIP2 (1OGQ) as template. These PGIPs were then docked individually to FmPG to elucidate the characteristics of their interactions. The mode of binding for PvPGIP1 to FmPG considerably differs from the mode observed for PvPGIP2-FmPG complex, regardless of the high sequence similarity the two PGIPs share. Both PvPGIP2 and GmPGIP3 despite being relatively less similar, interact with residues of FmPG that are known from mutational studies to constitute the active site of the enzyme. PvPGIP1 tends to interact with residues not located at the active site of FmPG. Looking into the electrostatic potential surface for individual PGIPs, it was evident that a portion of the interacting surface for PvPGIP1 differs from the corresponding region of PvPGIP2 or GmPGIP3.


van der Waals and eletrostatic interactions play an active role in PGIPs for proper recognition and discrimination of PGs. Docking studies reveal that PvPGIP2 and GmPGIP3 interact with the residues constituting the active site of FmPG with implications that the proteins bind/block FmPG at its active site and thereby inhibit the enzyme.