A database for domain and motif mimicry incorporating host and pathogen protein interactions

Pathogen proteins mimic those of the host and derail their action. A pathogen protein interacts with many host proteins that in turn interacts with many other host proteins. The pathogen protein and host interactor protein with a common interacting host protein are compared for similar domains indicating global structural similarity and motifs indicating local sequence similarity to determine Domain Mimicry Pairs (DMPs) and Motif Mimicry Pair (MMPs) respectively (depicted in Figure 1). Figure 2a and 2b are representative of individual DMP and MMP respectively, and shows a scenario encompassing a competitive mode of binding of both interaction partners to the same protein. However, allosteric modes of binding are also possible as shown in Figure 3a for DMP and 3b for MMP. As experimentally interacting proteins are likely to be co-expressed and co-localized, interaction data adds confidence to prediction of host pathogen mimicry candidates.

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ImitateDB is a comprehensive database for information about molecular mimicry candidates represented as DMPs and MMPs for each experimentally validated unique host pathogen protein-protein interaction. The database contains a total of unique 1,97,607 DMPs and 32,67,568 MMPs searchable by various options. Specific domains or motifs mimicked commonly by a large number of pathogens are likely to be responsible for microbial virulence suitable for drug/vaccine targeting.

Citation: Tayal S, Bhatia V, Mehrotra T, Bhatnagar S. ImitateDB: A database for domain and motif mimicry incorporating host and pathogen protein interactions. Amino Acids. 2022 Jun;54(6):923-934. doi: 10.1007/s00726-022-03163-3. Epub 2022 Apr 30. PMID: 35487995

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