Understanding the relationship between protein sequence, function, and stability is a fundamental problem in biology. The essential function of many proteins that fold into a specific structure is their ability to bind to a ligand, which can be assayed for thousands of mutated variants. However, binding assays do not distinguish whether mutations affect the stability of the binding interface or the overall fold. Here, we introduce a statistical method to infer a detailed energy landscape of how a protein folds and binds to a ligand by combining information from many mutated variants. We fit a thermodynamic model describing the bound, unbound, and unfolded states to high quality data of protein G domain B1 binding to IgG-Fc. We infer distinct folding and binding energies for each mutation providing a detailed view of how mutations affect binding and stability across the protein. We accurately infer the folding energy of each variant in physical units, validated by independent data, whereas previous high-throughput methods could only measure indirect changes in stability. While we assume an additive sequence-energy relationship, the binding fraction is epistatic due its nonlinear relation to energy. Despite having no epistasis in energy, our model explains much of the observed epistasis in binding fraction, with the remaining epistasis identifying conformationally dynamic regions.
Submitter: Jakub Otwinowski
Submission Date: Jan. 10, 2019, 5:28 a.m.
|Number of data points
|Immunoglobulin G-binding protein G
|Computational Protocol: Folding energies (DDG) ; Computational Protocol: Energy change upon binding (DDG)
|Inferred folding and binding energies from thermodynamic model