Computational Analysis of C-Reactive Protein for Assessment of Molecular Dynamics and Interaction Properties

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Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) is used as a marker of inflammation in several diseases including autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease. CRP, a member of the pentraxin family, is comprised of five identical subunits. CRP has diverse ligand-binding properties which depend upon different structural states of CRP. However, little is known about the molecular dynamics and interaction properties of CRP. In this study, we used SAPS, SCRATCH protein predictor, PDBsum, ConSurf, ProtScale, Drawhca, ASAView, SCide and SRide server and performed comprehensive analyses of molecular dynamics, protein-protein and residue-residue interactions of CRP. We used 1GNH.pdb file for the crystal structure of human CRP which generated two pentamers (ABCDE and FGHIJ). The number of residues involved in residue-residue interactions between A-B, B-C, C-D, D-E, F-G, G-H, H-I, I-J, A-E and F-J subunits were 12, 11, 10, 11, 12, 11, 10, 11, 10 and 10, respectively. Fifteen antiparallel β sheets were involved in β-sheet topology, and five β hairpins were involved in forming the secondary structure. Analysis of hydrophobic segment distribution revealed deviations in surface hydrophobicity at different cavities present in CRP. Approximately 33 % of all residues were involved in the stabilization centers. We show that the bioinformatics tools can provide a rapid method to predict molecular dynamics and interaction properties of CRP. Our prediction of molecular dynamics and interaction properties of CRP combined with the modeling data based on the known 3D structure of CRP is helpful in designing stable forms of CRP mutants for structure-function studies of CRP and may facilitate in silico drug design for therapeutic targeting of CRP.