Identification of transient hub proteins and the possible structural basis for their multiple interactions

Miho Higurashi, Takashi Ishida, Kengo Kinoshita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Proteins that can interact with multiple partners play central roles in the network of protein-protein interactions. They are called hub proteins, and recently it was suggested that an abundance of intrinsically disordered regions on their surfaces facilitates their binding to multiple partners. However, in those studies, the hub proteins were identified as proteins with multiple partners, regardless of whether the interactions were transient or permanent. As a result, a certain number of hub proteins are subunits of stable multi-subunit proteins, such as supramolecules. It is well known that stable complexes and transient complexes have different structural features, and thus the statistics based on the current definition of hub proteins will hide the true nature of hub proteins. Therefore, in this paper, we first describe a new approach to identify proteins with multiple partners dynamically, using the Protein Data Bank, and then we performed statistical analyses of the structural features of these proteins. We refer to the proteins as transient hub proteins or sociable proteins, to clarify the difference with hub proteins. As a result, we found that the main difference between sociable and nonsociable proteins is not the abundance of disordered regions, in contrast to the previous studies, but rather the structural flexibility of the entire protein. We also found greater predominance of charged and polar residues in sociable proteins than previously reported. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalProtein Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan


  • Hub protein
  • Intrinsic disorder
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • Three-dimensional structure
  • Transient interaction


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