Disruption of conserved polar interactions causes a sequential release of Bim mutants from the canonical binding groove of Mcl1

Parthiban Marimuthu, Jamoliddin Razzokov, Gofur Eshonqulov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Mcl1 is an important anti-apoptotic member of the Bcl2 family proteins that are upregulated in several cancer malignancies. The canonical binding groove (CBG) located at the surface of Mcl1 exhibits a critical role in binding partners selectively via the BH3-domain of pro-apoptotic Bcl2 family members that trigger the downregulation of Mcl1 function. There are several crystal structures of point-mutated pro-apoptotic Bim peptides in complex with Mcl1. However, the mechanistic effects of such point-mutations towards peptide binding and complex stability still remain unexplored. Here, the effects of the reported point mutations in Bim peptides and their binding mechanisms to Mcl1 were computationally evaluated using atomistic-level steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations. A range of external-forces and constant-velocities were applied to the Bim peptides to uncover the mechanistic basis of peptide dissociation from the CBG of Mcl1. Although the peptides showed similarities in their dissociation pathways, the peak rupture forces varied significantly. According to simulations results, the disruption of the conserved polar contacts at the complex interface causes a sequential release of the peptides from the CBG of Mcl1. Overall, the results obtained from the current study may provide valuable insights for the development of novel anti-cancer peptide-inhibitors that can downregulate Mcl1's function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364 - 374
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Mcl1-Bim complex
  • Cancer inhibitors
  • Molecular dynamics simulations
  • Steered molecular dynamics simulations
  • Potential mean forces estimation


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