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Advances in Bioinformatics
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8792814, 13 pages
Research Article

Structural Dynamics of Human Argonaute2 and Its Interaction with siRNAs Designed to Target Mutant tdp43

Centre for Bioinformatics, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry 605014, India

Received 27 July 2015; Revised 31 January 2016; Accepted 2 February 2016

Academic Editor: Gilbert Deleage

Copyright © 2016 Vishwambhar Bhandare and Amutha Ramaswamy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The human Argonaute2 protein (Ago2) is a key player in RNA interference pathway and small RNA recognition by Ago2 is the crucial step in siRNA mediated gene silencing mechanism. The present study highlights the structural and functional dynamics of human Ago2 and the interaction mechanism of Ago2 with a set of seven siRNAs for the first time. The human Ago2 protein adopts two conformations such as “open” and “close” during the simulation of 25 ns. One of the domains named as PAZ, which is responsible for anchoring the 3′-end of siRNA guide strand, is observed as a highly flexible region. The interaction between Ago2 and siRNA, analyzed using a set of siRNAs (targeting at positions 128, 251, 341, 383, 537, 1113, and 1115 of mRNA) designed to target tdp43 mutants causing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease, revealed the stable and strong recognition of siRNA by the Ago2 protein during dynamics. Among the studied siRNAs, the siRNA341 is identified as a potent siRNA to recognize Ago2 and hence could be used further as a possible siRNA candidate to target the mutant tdp43 protein for the treatment of ALS patients.