Hidden Glutathione Transferases in the Human Genome

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With the development of accurate protein structure prediction algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool in the field of structural biology. AI-based algorithms have been used to analyze large amounts of protein sequence data including the human proteome, complementing experimental structure data found in resources such as the Protein Data Bank. The EBI AlphaFold Protein Structure Database (for example) contains over 230 million structures. In this study, these data have been analyzed to find all human proteins containing (or predicted to contain) the cytosolic glutathione transferase (cGST) fold. A total of 39 proteins were found, including the alpha-, mu-, pi-, sigma-, zeta- and omega-class GSTs, intracellular chloride channels, metaxins, multisynthetase complex components, elongation factor 1 complex components and others. Three broad themes emerge: cGST domains as enzymes, as chloride ion channels and as protein–protein interaction mediators. As the majority of cGSTs are dimers, the AI-based structure prediction algorithm AlphaFold-multimer was used to predict structures of all pairwise combinations of these cGST domains. Potential homo- and heterodimers are described. Experimental biochemical and structure data is used to highlight the strengths and limitations of AI-predicted structures.

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