Research Papers:

Computational modeling suggests impaired interactions between NKX2.5 and GATA4 in individuals carrying a novel pathogenic D16N NKX2.5 mutation

Saidulu Mattapally, Mrityunjay Singh, Kona Samba Murthy, Shailendra Asthana _ and Sanjay K. Banerjee

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:13713-13732. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24459

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Saidulu Mattapally1,*, Mrityunjay Singh2,*, Kona Samba Murthy3, Shailendra Asthana2 and Sanjay K. Banerjee1,2

1Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad 500007, India

2Drug Discovery Research Center (DDRC), Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, Haryana 121001, India

3Innova Children’s Heart Hospital, Tarnaka, Hyderabad 500017, India

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Shailendra Asthana, email: [email protected]

Sanjay K. Banerjee, email: [email protected]

Keywords: molecular dynamics simulation; computational modeling; protein-protein interaction; pathogenic mutation; congenital heart disease

Received: October 05, 2017     Accepted: January 24, 2018     Published: February 09, 2018


NKX2.5, a homeobox containing gene, plays an important role in embryonic heart development and associated mutations are linked with various cardiac abnormalities. We sequenced the NKX2.5 gene in 100 congenital heart disease (CHD) patients and 200 controls. Our analysis revealed a total of 7 mutations, 3 in intronic region, 3 in coding region and 1 in 3’ UTR. Of the above mutations, one mutation was found to be associated with tetralogy of fallot (TOF) and two (rs2277923 and a novel mutation, D16N) were strongly associated with VSD. A novel missense mutation, D16N (p-value =0.009744), located in the tinman (TN) region and associated with ventricular septal defect (VSD), is the most significant findings of this study. Computational analysis revealed that D16N mutation is pathogenic in nature. Through the molecular modeling, docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies, we have identified the location of mutant D16N in NKX2.5 and its interaction map with other partners at the atomic level. We found NKX2.5-GATA4 complex is stable, however, in case of mutant we observed significant conformational changes and loss of key polar interactions, which might be a cause of the pathogenic behavior. This study underscores the structural basis of D16N pathogenic mutation in the regulation of NKX2.5 and how this mutation renders the structural-functional divergence that possibly leading towards the diseased state.

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