Aromatic-aromatic interactions in the formation of the MDM2-p53 complex

L. Michel Espinoza-Fonseca, Jazmín García-Machorro

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23 Scopus citations


Although the molecular interaction of MDM2 with the transactivation domain of p53 has been thoroughly studied, there is very limited information regarding the steps involved in the recognition mechanism between these proteins. On this basis, we performed four high-temperature molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent to gain insight into the interactions involved in the fist contact toward the formation of the complex. We found that the presence of specific intermolecular aromatic pairs at the interface of the complex, around the native-like state of MDM2, is consistent among independent molecular dynamics runs. This observation suggests that aromatic-aromatic interactions are closely related to the first contact between MDM2 and p53. Thus, we propose that aromatic-aromatic interactions are an important, and probably essential, requirement for the formation and stabilization of the MDM2-p53 complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-551
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 13 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
L.M.E.F. was supported in part by grants from the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (QCM-2007-2-0003 and QCM-2007-3-0005). The authors acknowledge the computer resources, technical expertise and assistance provided by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. J.G.M. is a recipient of a scholarship from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).


  • Apoptosis
  • Aromatic interactions
  • Cancer
  • MDM2
  • Molecular dynamics simulations
  • p53


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