Protein dynamics and conformational selection in bidirectional signal transduction
1 Basic Research Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program, NCI-Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA
2 Sackler Institute of Molecular Medicine, Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
BMC Biology 2012, 10:2 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-2Published: 25 January 2012
Protein conformational dynamics simultaneously allow promiscuity and specificity in binding. The multiple conformations of the free EphA4 ligand-binding domain observed in two new EphA4 crystal structures provide a unique insight into the conformational dynamics of EphA4 and its signaling pathways. The heterogeneous ensemble and loop dynamics explain how the EphA4 receptor is able to bind multiple A- and B-ephrin ligands and small molecules via conformational selection, which helps to fine-tune cellular signal response in both receptor and ligand cells.