Publications by authors named "Gabriel Rodrigues Coutinho Pereira"

5 Publications

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Comprehensive in silico analysis and molecular dynamics of the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) variants related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(2):e0247841. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Laboratory, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequent motor neuron disorder, with a significant social and economic burden. ALS remains incurable, and the only drugs approved for its treatments confers a survival benefit of a few months for the patients. Missense mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a major cytoplasmic antioxidant enzyme, has been associated with ALS development, accounting for 23% of its familial cases and 7% of all sporadic cases. This work aims to characterize in silico the structural and functional effects of SOD1 protein variants. Missense mutations in SOD1 were compiled from the literature and databases. Twelve algorithms were used to predict the functional and stability effects of these mutations. ConSurf was used to estimate the evolutionary conservation of SOD1 amino-acids. GROMACS was used to perform molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of SOD1 wild-type and variants A4V, D90A, H46R, and I113T, which account for approximately half of all ALS-SOD1 cases in the United States, Europe, Japan, and United Kingdom, respectively. 233 missense mutations in SOD1 protein were compiled from the databases and literature consulted. The predictive analyses pointed to an elevated rate of deleterious and destabilizing predictions for the analyzed variants, indicating their harmful effects. The ConSurf analysis suggested that mutations in SOD1 mainly affect conserved and possibly functionally essential amino acids. The MD analyses pointed to flexibility and essential dynamics alterations at the electrostatic and metal-binding loops of variants A4V, D90A, H46R, and I113T that could lead to aberrant interactions triggering toxic protein aggregation. These alterations may have harmful implications for SOD1 and explain their association with ALS. Understanding the effects of SOD1 mutations on protein structure and function facilitates the design of further experiments and provides relevant information on the molecular mechanism of pathology, which may contribute to improvements in existing treatments for ALS.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247841PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906464PMC
February 2021

In silico analysis of the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) protein variants related to psychiatric disorders.

PLoS One 2020 2;15(3):e0229730. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Laboratory, Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) enzyme catalyzes the first step of serotonin biosynthesis. Serotonin is known for its role in several homeostatic systems related to sleep, mood, and food intake. As the reaction catalyzed by TPH2 is the rate-limiting step of serotonin biosynthesis, mutations in TPH2 have been associated with several psychiatric disorders (PD). This work undertakes an in silico analysis of the effects of genetic mutations in the human TPH2 protein. Ten algorithms were used to predict the functional and stability effects of the TPH2 mutations. ConSurf was used to estimate the evolutionary conservation of TPH2 amino acids. GROMACS was used to perform molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of TPH2 WT and P260S, R303W, and R441H, which had already been associated with the development of PD. Forty-six TPH2 variants were compiled from the literature. Among the analyzed variants, those occurring at the catalytic domain were shown to be more damaging to protein structure and function. The ConSurf analysis indicated that the mutations affecting the catalytic domain were also more conserved throughout evolution. The variants S364K and S383F were predicted to be deleterious by all the functional algorithms used and occurred at conserved positions, suggesting that they might be deleterious. The MD analyses indicate that the mutations P206S, R303W, and R441H affect TPH2 flexibility and essential mobility at the catalytic and oligomerization domains. The variants P206S, R303W, and R441H also exhibited alterations in dimer binding affinity and stability throughout the simulations. Thus, these mutations may impair TPH2 functional interactions and, consequently, its function, leading to the development of PD. Furthermore, we developed a database, SNPMOL (http://www.snpmol.org/), containing the results presented in this paper. Understanding the effects of TPH2 mutations on protein structure and function may lead to improvements in existing treatments for PD and facilitate the design of further experiments.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0229730PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7051086PMC
June 2020

In silico analysis of PFN1 related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

PLoS One 2019 19;14(6):e0215723. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Laboratory, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Profilin 1 (PFN1) protein plays key roles in neuronal growth and differentiation, membrane trafficking, and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Four natural variants of PFN1 were described as related to ALS, the most common adult-onset motor neuron disorder. However, the pathological mechanism of PFN1 in ALS is not yet completely understood. The goal of this work is to thoroughly analyze the effects of the ALS-related mutations on PFN1 structure and function using computational simulations. Here, PhD-SNP, PMUT, PolyPhen-2, SIFT, SNAP, SNPS&GO, SAAP, nsSNPAnalyzer, SNPeffect4.0 and I-Mutant2.0 were used to predict the functional and stability effects of PFN1 mutations. ConSurf was used for the evolutionary conservation analysis, and GROMACS was used to perform the MD simulations. The mutations C71G, M114T, and G118V, but not E117G, were predicted as deleterious by most of the functional prediction algorithms that were used. The stability prediction indicated that the ALS-related mutations could destabilize PFN1. The ConSurf analysis indicated that the mutation C71G, M114T, E117G, and G118V occur in highly conserved positions. The MD results indicated that the studied mutations could affect the PFN1 flexibility at the actin and PLP-binding domains, and consequently, their intermolecular interactions. It may be therefore related to the functional impairment of PFN1 upon C71G, M114T, E117G and G118V mutations, and their involvement in ALS development. We also developed a database, SNPMOL (http://www.snpmol.org/), containing the results presented on this paper for biologists and clinicians to exploit PFN1 and its natural variants.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215723PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6583998PMC
February 2020

SOD1 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis development - in silico analysis and molecular dynamics of A4F and A4V variants.

J Cell Biochem 2019 10 27;120(10):17822-17830. Epub 2019 May 27.

Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. Approximately 5% to 10% of patients with ALS have a family history of the disease, and approximately 20% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS) cases are associated with mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). In this study, we evaluated the structural and functional effects of human A4F and A4V SOD1 protein mutations. We performed an in silico analysis using prediction algorithms of nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) associated with the fALS development. Our structural conservation results show that the mutations analyzed (A4V and A4F) were in a highly conserved region. Molecular dynamics simulations using the Linux GROMACS package revealed how these mutations affect protein structure, protein stability, and aggregation. These results suggest that there might be an effect on the SOD1 function. Understanding the molecular basis of disease provides new insights useful for rational drug design and advancing our understanding of the ALS development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.29048DOI Listing
October 2019

In silico analysis of the V66M variant of human BDNF in psychiatric disorders: An approach to precision medicine.

PLoS One 2019 18;14(4):e0215508. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Laboratory, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neurogenesis and synapse formation. The V66M is the most prevalent BDNF mutation in humans and impairs the function and distribution of BDNF. This mutation is related to several psychiatric disorders. The pro-region of BDNF, particularly position 66 and its adjacent residues, are determinant for the intracellular sorting and activity-dependent secretion of BDNF. However, it has not yet been fully elucidated. The present study aims to analyze the effects of the V66M mutation on BDNF structure and function. Here, we applied nine algorithms, including SIFT and PolyPhen-2, for functional and stability prediction of the V66M mutation. The complete theoretical model of BNDF was generated by Rosetta and validated by PROCHECK, RAMPAGE, ProSa, QMEAN and Verify-3D algorithms. Structural alignment was performed using TM-align. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the ConSurf server. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed and analyzed using the GROMACS 2018.2 package. The V66M mutation was predicted as deleterious by PolyPhen-2 and SIFT in addition to being predicted as destabilizing by I-Mutant. According to SNPeffect, the V66M mutation does not affect protein aggregation, amyloid propensity, and chaperone binding. The complete theoretical structure of BDNF proved to be a reliable model. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the V66M mutation of BDNF occurs at a non-conserved position of the protein. MD analyses indicated that the V66M mutation does not affect the BDNF flexibility and surface-to-volume ratio, but affects the BDNF essential motions, hydrogen-bonding and secondary structure particularly at its pre and pro-domain, which are crucial for its activity and distribution. Thus, considering that these parameters are determinant for protein interactions and, consequently, protein function; the alterations observed throughout the MD analyses may be related to the functional impairment of BDNF upon V66M mutation, as well as its involvement in psychiatric disorders.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215508PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6472887PMC
January 2020