Unveiling the unfolding pathway of f5f8d disorder-associated d81h/v100d mutant of mcfd2 via multiple molecular dynamics simulations

Adel Hamza, Ning Ning Wei, Trudy Johnson-Scalise, Frederick Naftolin, Hoon Cho, Chang Guo Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Combined factor deficiency (F5F8D) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the LMAN1 or MCFD2 genes. It has been proposed that this pathogenic process occurs via a multi-step pathway involving metal loss, EF-hand-Ca2+ dissociation and assembly of misfolded MCFD2-LMAN1 complex. Here, we have investigated the solution conformations of the MCFD2(D81H, V100D) protein mutant through extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The V100D, one of the many MCFD2 mutations known to be associated to F5F8D, is difficult to be reconciled with the pathway model because it is located far from the metal sites and the MCFD2/LMAN1 interface. Consequently, an inspection of all the steps involved in D81H/V100D MCFD2 misfolding is expected to provide hints in the understanding of the molecular basis of the disease. A comparison with parallel studies carried out for the Wild-Type (WT) MCFD2 pointed out that the mutation decreases the affinity of the protein for the Ca2+ ion. Multiple explicit solvents MD simulations (50 ns) performed on the two proteins revealed that in the WT protein, stable H-bond network and compact hydrophobic core region are created thus confirming a pivotal role of this region in driving the biophysical properties of the entire protein. In fact it is shown that the V100D mutation, although located far away the EF-hand domain, may induce subtle modification in the structural core of MCFD2 leading to the loosening of metal binding and to the formation of metastable intermediate states along the unfolding pathway. The native-like hydrophobic cluster formed near the V100 residue in the wild-type protein is disrupted by the negatively charged Asparagine residue. Furthermore, the presence of the D81H mutation in the EF-1 hand domain may also increase the protein unfolding rate and consequently prevent the formation of the MCFD2-LMAN1 complex. The detailed structural insights obtained from our large-scale simulations complement the clinical features and offer useful insights into the mechanism behind MCFD2 protein misfolding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-714
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the NIH (grant R01 DA025100 to C.-G. Zhan).


  • F5F8D
  • LMAN1
  • MCFD2
  • Misfolding
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Mutations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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