The Effects of Phosphomimetic Lid Mutation on the Thermostability of the N-terminal Domain of MDM2

Erin G. Worralll, Liam Worrall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Malcolm Walkinshaw, Ted R. Hupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The multidomain E3 ubiquitin ligase MDM2 catalyzes p53 ubiquitination by a "dual-site" docking mechanism whereby MDM2 binding to at least two distinct peptide motifs on p53 promotes ubiquitination. One protein protein interaction occurs between the N-terminal hydrophobic pocket of MDM2 and the transactivation motif of p53, and the second interaction occurs between the acidic domain of MDM2 and a motif in the DNA-binding domain of p53. A flexible N-terminal pseudo-substrate or "lid" adjacent to the N-terminal hydrophobic pocket of MDM2 has a phosphorylation site, and there are distinct models proposed on how the phosphorylated lid could affect MDM2 function. Biochemical studies have predicted that phosphomimetic mutation will stabilize the lid on the surface of MDM2 and will "open" the hydrophobic pocket and stabilize the MDM2 p53 complex, while NMR studies proposed that phosphomimetic mutation "closes" the lid over the MDM2 pocket and inhibits MDM2 p53 complex formation. To resolve these discrepancies, we utilized a quantitative fluorescence-based dye binding assay to measure the thermal unfolding of wild-type (wt), Delta Lid, and S17D N-terminal domains of MDM2 as a function of increasing ligand concentration. Our data reveal that S17D lid mutation increases, rather than decreases, the thermostability of the N-terminal domain of MDM2 in the absence or in the presence of ligand. Delta Lid mutation, by contrast, increases MDM2 thermoinstability. This is consistent with biochemical data, using full-length MDM2, showing that the S17D mutation stabilizes the MDM2-p53 complex and increases the specific activity of the E3 ubiquitin ligase function of MDM2. These data indicate that phosphomimetic lid mutation results in an "opening," rather than a "closing," of the pocket of MDM2 and highlight the ability of small intrinsically disordered or unstructured peptide motifs to regulate the specific activity of a protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-428
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Early online date19 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Hot Temperature
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Stability
  • Circular Dichroism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • p53
  • MDM2
  • phosphorylation
  • Nutlin-3
  • ligand


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effects of Phosphomimetic Lid Mutation on the Thermostability of the N-terminal Domain of MDM2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this