ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel arrests cell division by binding to the hetero-dimeric protein tubulin. Subtle differences in tubulin sequences, across eukaryotes and among beta-tubulin isotypes, can have profound impact on paclitaxel-tubulin binding. To capture the experimentally observed paclitaxel-resistance of human betaIII tubulin isotype and yeast beta-tubulin, within a common theoretical framework, we have performed structural principal component analyses of beta-tubulin sequences across eukaryotes. RESULTS: The paclitaxel-resistance of human betaIII tubulin isotype and yeast beta-tubulin uniquely mapped on to the lowest two principal components, defining the paclitaxel-binding site residues of beta-tubulin. The molecular mechanisms behind paclitaxel-resistance, mediated through key residues, were identified from structural consequences of characteristic mutations that confer paclitaxel-resistance. Specifically, Ala277 in betaIII isotype was shown to be crucial for paclitaxel-resistance. CONCLUSIONS: The present analysis captures the origin of two apparently unrelated events, paclitaxel-insensitivity of yeast tubulin and human betaIII tubulin isotype, through two common collective sequence vectors.FAU - Das, Lalit.
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