Molecular dynamics of the full-length p53 monomer

Giovanni Chillemi, Pavel Davidovich, Marco D'Abramo, Tazhir Mametnabiev, Alexander Vasilievich Garabadzhiu, Alessandro Desideri, Gerry Melino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The p53 protein is frequently mutated in a very large proportion of human tumors, where it seems to acquire gain-offunction activity that facilitates tumor onset and progression. A possible mechanism is the ability of mutant p53 proteins to physically interact with other proteins, including members of the same family, namely p63 and p73, inactivating their function. Assuming that this interaction might occurs at the level of the monomer, to investigate the molecular basis for this interaction, here, we sample the structural flexibility of the wild-type p53 monomeric protein. The results show a strong stability up to 850 ns in the DNA binding domain, with major flexibility in the N-terminal transactivations domains (TAD1 and TAD2) as well as in the C-terminal region (tetramerization domain). Several stable hydrogen bonds have been detected between N-terminal or C-terminal and DNA binding domain, and also between N-terminal and C-terminal. Essential dynamics analysis highlights strongly correlated movements involving TAD1 and the proline-rich region in the N-terminal domain, the tetramerization region in the C-terminal domain; Lys120 in the DNA binding region. The herein presented model is a starting point for further investigation of the whole protein tetramer as well as of its mutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3098-3108
Number of pages11
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2013


  • Cancer
  • Cell death
  • DNA damage
  • P53
  • P63
  • P73

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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