AbstractStatistical analysis of structures from the PBD has been used to examine the role that the aromatic amino acids play in protein-nucleic acid recognition. In protein-DNA complexes, the residues Phe and His are found to bind selectively to the DNA chain--Phe to A and T, and His to T and G. The preferred binding modes are identified, and the interactions involving Phe are shown to be important in the transcription process. In protein-RNA complexes, Phe is found to occur far less often and is instead replaced by Trp, which binds selectively to C and G, offering a possible mechanism for differentiation between the two nucleic acids. SASA analysis of the two sets of complexes suggests that all of the aromatic amino acids are more heavily involved in binding than would be expected on the balance of probability. Phe and Tyr occur approximately equal in both sets of data, whereas the proportions of His and Trp vary considerably, supporting the idea that these residues may be involved in differentiating between the two nucleic acids.
CitationBaker, C.M. and Grant, G.H. (2007) 'Role of aromatic amino acids in protein-nucleic acid recognition', Biopolymers, 85(5-6),pp.456-470.