The “A proliferation inducing ligand” protein (APRIL) is a cytokine over-expressed in many transformed and
tumoral cells acting onto two distinct receptors of the Tumoral Necrosis Factor B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and the
transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI). We herein describe, through a
detailed computational approach, the molecular interactions between TACI and its ligands APRIL and another structurally
similar protein called B-cell activating factor (BAFF) by means of molecular dynamics. Dynamical analysis suggests R84
and D85 residues from TACI as possible mutation candidates, yielding increased affinity between TACI and APRIL. The
association of computational simulations, site directed mutagenesis and peptide design could be a powerful tool, driving to
better in vitro experiments. Our results contribute to the elucidation of APRIL signaling and help clarify the effects of
blocking interaction between APRIL and its receptors through the use of particular peptides.
Keywords: Alanine scanning mutagenesis, APRIL, ELISA, molecular dynamics, TACI, TNF.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport