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In silico structural analysis of secretory clusterin to assess pathogenicity of mutations identified in the evolutionarily conserved regions

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posted on 25.11.2021, 10:40 by Lipi Das, Shashank Shekhar, Pratik Chandrani, Ashok K. Varma

Clusterin (CLU) is a secreted glycoprotein, heterodimeric in nature, and is expressed in a wide variety of tissues and body fluids such as serum and plasma. CLU has also been known to be a promising biomarker for cell death, malignancy, cancer progression, and resistance development. However, the lack of a CLU crystal structure obstructs understanding the possible role of reported mutations on the structure, and the subsequent effects on downstream signaling pathways and cancer progression. Considering the importance of crystal structure, a model structure of the pre-secretory isoform of CLU was built to predict the effect of mutations at the molecular level. Ab initio model was built using RaptorX, and loop refinement and energy minimization were carried out with ModLoop, ModRefiner, and GalaxyWeb servers. The cancer associated mutational spectra of CLU was retrieved from the cBioPortal server and 117 unique missense mutations were identified. Evolutionarily conserved regions and pathogenicity of mutations identified in CLU were analyzed using ConSurf and Rhapsody, respectively. Furthermore, sequence and structure-based mutational analysis were carried out with iSTABLE, DynaMut and PremPS servers. Molecular dynamics simulations were carried out with GROMACS for 50 ns to determine the stability of the wild type and mutant protein structures. A dynamically stable model structure of pre-secretory CLU (psCLU) which has high concurrence with the sequence based secondary structure predictions has been explored. Changes in the intra-atomic interactions and folding pattern between wild type and mutant structures were observed. To our conclusion, eleven mutations with the highest structural and functional significance have been predicted to have pathogenic and deleterious effects.

Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma

Funding

This work was funded by department of biotechnology, ministry of science and technology.

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