Functional regulation via conformational dynamics is well known in structured proteins but less well characterized in intrinsically disordered proteins and their complexes. Using NMR spectroscopy, we have identified a dynamic regulatory mechanism in the human insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system involving the central, intrinsically disordered linker domain of human IGF-binding protein-2 (hIGFBP2). The bioavailability of IGFs is regulated by the proteolysis of IGF-binding proteins. In the case of hIGFBP2, the linker domain (L-hIGFBP2) retains its intrinsic disorder upon binding IGF-1, but its dynamics are significantly altered, both in the IGF binding region and distantly located protease cleavage sites. The increase in flexibility of the linker domain upon IGF-1 binding may explain the IGF-dependent modulation of proteolysis of IGFBP2 in this domain. As IGF homeostasis is important for cell growth and function, and its dysregulation is a key contributor to several cancers, our findings open up new avenues for the design of IGFBP analogs inhibiting IGF-dependent tumors.
- conformational dynamics of intrinsically disordered protein
- disordered protein
- function–dynamics relationship of disordered protein
- human IGF-binding protein-2
- human insulin-like growth factor system
- intrinsically disordered protein
- protein–protein interaction