Naturally Occurring Osmolyte, Trehalose Induces Functional Conformation in an Intrinsically Disordered Activation Domain of Glucocorticoid Receptor
by Shagufta H. Khan, John A. Arnott, Raj Kumar
Intrinsically disordered (ID) regions are frequently found in the activation domains of many transcription factors including nuclear hormone receptors. It is believed that these ID regions promote molecular recognition by creating large surfaces suitable for interactions with their specific protein binding partners, which is a critical component of gene regulation by transcription factors. It has been hypothesized that conditional folding of these activation domains may be a prerequisite for their efficient interaction with specific coregulatory proteins, and subsequent transcriptional activity leading to the regulation of target gene(s). In this study, we tested whether a naturally occurring osmolyte, trehalose can promote functionally ordered conformation in glucocorticoid receptor’s major activation function domain, AF1, which is found to exist as an ID protein, and requires an efficient interaction with coregulatory proteins for optimal activity. Our data show that trehalose induces an ordered conformation in AF1 such that its interaction with steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1), a critical coregulator of glucocorticoid receptor’s activity, is greatly enhanced.
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