Biochem Biophys Rep. 2022 May 12;30:101275. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2022.101275. eCollection 2022 Jul.
Many proteins display conformational changes resulting from allosteric regulation. Often only a few residues are crucial in conveying these structural and functional allosteric changes. These regions that undergo a significant change in structure upon receiving an input signal, such as molecular recognition, are defined as switch-like regions. Identifying these key residues within switch-like regions can help elucidate the mechanism of allosteric regulation and provide guidance for synthetic regulation. In this study, we combine a novel computational workflow with biochemical methods to identify a switch-like region in the N-terminal domain of human SIRT1 (hSIRT1), a lysine deacetylase that plays important roles in regulating cellular pathways. Based on primary sequence, computational methods predicted a region between residues 186-193 in hSIRT1 to exhibit switch-like behavior. Mutations were then introduced in this region and the resulting mutants were tested for allosteric reactions to resveratrol, a known hSIRT1 allosteric regulator. After fine-tuning the mutations based on comparison of known secondary structures, we were able to pinpoint M193 as the residue essential for allosteric regulation, likely by communicating the allosteric signal. Mutation of this residue maintained enzyme activity but abolished allosteric regulation by resveratrol. Our findings suggest a method to predict switch-like regions in allosterically regulated enzymes based on the primary sequence. If further validated, this could be an efficient way to identify key residues in enzymes for therapeutic drug targeting and other applications.