Alpha-synuclein (aSyn) has implications in pathological protein aggregations in neurodegeneration. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are broad-spectrum proteases and cleave aSyn, leading to aggregation. Previous reports showed that allosteric communications between the two domains of MMP1 on collagen fibril and fibrin depend on substrates, activity, and ligands. This paper reports quantification of allostery using single molecule measurements of MMP1 dynamics on aSyn-induced aggregates by calculating Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) between two dyes attached to the catalytic and hemopexin domains of MMP1. The two domains of MMP1 prefer open conformations that are inhibited by a single point mutation E219Q of MMP1 and tetracycline, an MMP inhibitor. A two-state Poisson process describes the interdomain dynamics, where the two states and kinetic rates of interconversion between them are obtained from histograms and autocorrelations of FRET values. Since a crystal structure of aSyn-bound MMP1 is unavailable, binding poses were predicted by molecular docking of MMP1 with aSyn using ClusPro. MMP1 dynamics were simulated using predicted binding poses and compared with the experimental interdomain dynamics to identify an appropriate pose. The selected aSyn-MMP1 binding pose near aSyn residue K45 was simulated and analyzed to define conformational changes at the catalytic site. Allosteric residues in aSyn-bound MMP1 exhibiting strong correlations with the catalytic motif residues were compared with allosteric residues in free MMP1, and aSyn-specific residues were identified. The allosteric residues in aSyn-bound MMP1 are K281, T283, G292, G327, L328, E329, R337, F343, G345, N346, Y348, G353, Q354, D363, Y365, S366, S367, F368, P371, R372, V374, K375, A379, F391, A394, R399, M414, F419, V426, and C466. Shannon entropy was defined to quantify MMP1 dynamics. Virtual screening was performed against a site on selected aSyn-MMP1 binding poses, which showed that lead molecules differ between free MMP1 and substrate-bound MMP1. Also, identifying aSyn-specific allosteric residues in MMP1 enabled further selection of lead molecules. In other words, virtual screening needs to take substrates into account for potential substrate-specific control of MMP1 activity in the future. Molecular understanding of interactions between MMP1 and aSyn-induced aggregates may open up the possibility of degrading aggregates by targeting MMPs.
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