The eukaryotic linear motif resource ELM: 10 years and counting.
Dinkel, H., Van Roey, K., Michael, S., Davey, N.E., Weatheritt, R.J., Born, D., Speck, T., Kruger, D., Grebnev, G., Kuban, M., Strumillo, M., Uyar, B., Budd, A., Altenberg, B., Seiler, M., Chemes, L.B., Glavina, J., Sanchez, I.E., Diella, F. & Gibson, T.J.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(Database issue):D259-66. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1047.Epub 2013 Nov 7.
The eukaryotic linear motif (ELM http://elm.eu.org) resource is a hub for collecting, classifying and curating information about short linear motifs (SLiMs). For >10 years, this resource has provided the scientific community with a freely accessible guide to the biology and function of linear motifs. The current version of ELM contains approximately 200 different motif classes with over 2400 experimentally validated instances manually curated from >2000 scientific publications. Furthermore, detailed information about motif-mediated interactions has been annotated and made available in standard exchange formats. Where appropriate, links are provided to resources such as switches.elm.eu.org and KEGG pathways.
The transience of transient overexpression.
Gibson, T.J., Seiler, M. & Veitia, R.A.
Nat Methods. 2013 Aug;10(8):715-21. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2534.
Much of what is known about mammalian cell regulation has been achieved with the aid of transiently transfected cells. However, overexpression can violate balanced gene dosage, affecting protein folding, complex assembly and downstream regulation. To avoid these problems, genome engineering technologies now enable the generation of stable cell lines expressing modified proteins at (almost) native levels.
The switches.ELM resource: a compendium of conditional regulatory interaction interfaces.
Van Roey, K., Dinkel, H., Weatheritt, R.J., Gibson, T.J. & Davey, N.E.
Sci Signal. 2013 Apr 2;6(269):rs7. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2003345.
Short linear motifs (SLiMs) are protein interaction sites that play an important role in cell regulation by controlling protein activity, localization, and local abundance. The functionality of a SLiM can be modulated in a context-dependent manner to induce a gain, loss, or exchange of binding partners, which will affect the function of the SLiM-containing protein. As such, these conditional interactions underlie molecular decision-making in cell signaling. We identified multiple types of pre- and posttranslational switch mechanisms that can regulate the function of a SLiM and thereby control its interactions. The collected examples of experimentally characterized SLiM-based switch mechanisms were curated in the freely accessible switches.ELM resource (http://switches.elm.eu.org). On the basis of these examples, we defined and integrated rules to analyze SLiMs for putative regulatory switch mechanisms. We applied these rules to known validated SLiMs, providing evidence that more than half of these are likely to be pre- or posttranslationally regulated. In addition, we showed that posttranslationally modified sites are enriched around SLiMs, which enables cooperative and integrative regulation of protein interaction interfaces. We foresee switches.ELM complementing available resources to extend our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying cell signaling.
Attributes of short linear motifs.
Davey, N.E., Van Roey, K., Weatheritt, R.J., Toedt, G., Uyar, B., Altenberg, B., Budd, A., Diella, F., Dinkel, H. & Gibson, T.J.
Mol Biosyst. 2012 Jan;8(1):268-81. doi: 10.1039/c1mb05231d. Epub 2011 Sep 12.
Traditionally, protein-protein interactions were thought to be mediated by large, structured domains. However, it has become clear that the interactome comprises a wide range of binding interfaces with varying degrees of flexibility, ranging from rigid globular domains to disordered regions that natively lack structure. Enrichment for disorder in highly connected hub proteins and its correlation with organism complexity hint at the functional importance of disordered regions. Nevertheless, they have not yet been extensively characterised. Shifting the attention from globular domains to disordered regions of the proteome might bring us closer to elucidating the dense and complex connectivity of the interactome. An important class of disordered interfaces are the compact mono-partite, short linear motifs (SLiMs, or eukaryotic linear motifs (ELMs)). They are evolutionarily plastic and interact with relatively low affinity due to the limited number of residues that make direct contact with the binding partner. These features confer to SLiMs the ability to evolve convergently and mediate transient interactions, which is imperative to network evolution and to maintain robust cell signalling, respectively. The ability to discriminate biologically relevant SLiMs by means of different attributes will improve our understanding of the complexity of the interactome and aid development of bioinformatics tools for motif discovery. In this paper, the curated instances currently available in the Eukaryotic Linear Motif (ELM) database are analysed to provide a clear overview of the defining attributes of SLiMs. These analyses suggest that functional SLiMs have higher levels of conservation than their surrounding residues, frequently evolve convergently, preferentially occur in disordered regions and often form a secondary structure when bound to their interaction partner. These results advocate searching for small groupings of residues in disordered regions with higher relative conservation and a propensity to form the secondary structure. Finally, the most interesting conclusions are examined in regard to their functional consequences.