Druggable sites on protein-protein interfaces are difficult to predict. To survey inhibitor-binding sites onto which residues are superimposed at protein-protein interfaces, we analyzed publicly available information for 39 inhibitors that target the protein-protein interfaces of 8 drug targets. By focusing on the differences between residues that were superimposed with inhibitors and non-superimposed residues, we observed clear differences in the distances and changes in the solvent-Accessible surface areas (a †SASA). Based on the observation that two or more residues were superimposed onto inhibitors in 37 (95%) of 39 protein-inhibitor complexes, we focused on the two-residue relationships. Application of a cross-validation procedure confirmed a linear negative correlation between the absolute value of the dihedral angle and the sum of the a †SASAs of the residues. Finally, we applied the regression equation of this correlation to four inhibitors that bind to new sites not bound by the 39 inhibitors as well as additional inhibitors of different targets. Our results shed light on the two-residue correlation between the absolute value of the dihedral angle and the sum of the a †SASA, which may be a useful relationship for identifying the key two-residues as potential targets of protein-protein interfaces.
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