IDPology of the Living Cell: Intrinsic Disorder in the Subcellular Compartments of the Human Cell

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Intrinsic disorder, Subcellular location, Human cell, Intrinsically disordered proteins

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Intrinsic disorder can be found in all proteomes of all kingdoms of life and in viruses, being particularly prevalent in the eukaryotes. We conduct a comprehensive analysis of the intrinsic disorder in the human proteins while mapping them into 24 compartments of the human cell. In agreement with previous studies, we show that human proteins are significantly enriched in disorder relative to a generic protein set that represents the protein universe. In fact, the fraction of proteins with long disordered regions and the average protein-level disorder content in the human proteome are about 3 times higher than in the protein universe. Furthermore, levels of intrinsic disorder in the majority of human subcellular compartments significantly exceed the average disorder content in the protein universe. Relative to the overall amount of disorder in the human proteome, proteins localized in the nucleus and cytoskeleton have significantly increased amounts of disorder, measured by both high disorder content and presence of multiple long intrinsically disordered regions. We empirically demonstrate that, on average, human proteins are assigned to 2.3 subcellular compartments, with proteins localized to few subcellular compartments being more disordered than the proteins that are localized to many compartments. Functionally, the disordered proteins localized in the most disorder-enriched subcellular compartments are primarily responsible for interactions with nucleic acids and protein partners. This is the first-time disorder is comprehensively mapped into the human cell. Our observations add a missing piece to the puzzle of functional disorder and its organization inside the cell.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, v. 78, p. 2371-2385