Multiscale simulation of the interaction of calreticulin-thrombospondin-1 complex with a model membrane microdomain

Academic Article


  • Cell surface calreticulin (CRT) binding to thrombospondin-1 (TSP1), regulates cell adhesion, migration, anoikis resistance, and collagen production. Due to the essential role of membrane microdomains in CRT-mediated focal adhesion disassembly, we previously studied the effect of raft-like bilayers on TSP1–CRT interactions with all-atom molecular dynamics (AAMD) simulations. However, the simulated systems of protein on the surface of the bilayer(s) in the explicit solvent are too large for long timescale AAMD simulations due to computational expense. In this study, we adopted a multiscale modeling approach of combining AAMD, coarse-grained molecule dynamics (CGMD), and reversed AAMD (REV AAMD) simulations to investigate the interactions of single CRT or of the TSP1–CRT complex with a membrane microdomain at microsecond timescale. Results showed that CRT conformational stabilization by binding of TSP1 in AAMD simulation was undetectable in CGMD simulation, but it was recovered in REV AAMD simulation. Similarly, interactions of the CRT N-domain and TSP1 with the membrane microdomain were lost in CGMD simulations but they were re-gained in the REV AAMD simulations. There was the higher coordination of the CRT P-domain in the TSP1–CRT complex with the lipid components of membrane microdomain compared to that of single CRT, which could directly affect the conformation of CRT and further mediate CRT recruitment of LDL receptor-related protein for signaling events. This study provides structural and molecular insights into TSP1–CRT interactions in a membrane microdomain environment and demonstrates the feasibility of using multiscale simulations to investigate the interactions between protein and membrane microdomains at a long timescale.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang L; Murphy-Ullrich JE; Song Y
  • Start Page

  • 811
  • End Page

  • 822
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 3