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Structural Bioinformatics Survey on Disease-inducing Missense Mutations
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  • Pietro Bongini,
  • Simone Gardini,
  • Monica Bianchini,
  • Ottavia Spiga,
  • Neri Niccolai
Pietro Bongini
University of Siena
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Simone Gardini
GenomeUp
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Monica Bianchini
University of Siena
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Ottavia Spiga
University of Siena
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Neri Niccolai
University of Siena
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Abstract

Understanding the molecular mechanisms that correlate pathologies with missense mutations is of critical importance for disease risk estimations and for devising personalized therapies. Thus, we have performed a bioinformatic survey of ClinVar, a database of human genomic variations, to find signals that can account for missense mutation pathogenicity. Arginine resulted as the most frequently replaced amino acids both in benign and pathogenic mutations. By adding the structural dimension to this investigation to increase its resolution, we found that arginine mutations occurring at the protein-DNA interface increase pathogenicity 6.5 times with respect to benign variants. Glycine is the second amino acid among all the pathological missense mutations. Necessarily replaced by larger amino acids, glycine replacements perturb the structural stability of proteins and, therefore, their functions, being mostly located in buried protein moieties. Arginine and glycine appear as representative of missense mutations causing respectively changes in interaction processes and in protein structural features, the two main molecular mechanisms of genome-induced pathologies.