Studying the role of protein dynamics in an SN2 enzyme reaction using free-energy surfaces and solvent coordinates

Rafael García-Meseguer, Sergio Martí, J. Javier Ruiz-Pernía, Vicent Moliner, Iñaki Tuñón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Conformational changes are known to be able to drive an enzyme through its catalytic cycle, allowing, for example, substrate binding or product release. However, the influence of protein motions on the chemical step is a controversial issue. One proposal is that the simple equilibrium fluctuations incorporated into transition-state theory are insufficient to account for the catalytic effect of enzymes and that protein motions should be treated dynamically. Here, we propose the use of free-energy surfaces, obtained as a function of both a chemical coordinate and an environmental coordinate, as an efficient way to elucidate the role of protein structure and motions during the reaction. We show that the structure of the protein provides an adequate environment for the progress of the reaction, although a certain degree of flexibility is needed to attain the full catalytic effect. However, these motions do not introduce significant dynamical corrections to the rate constant and can be described as equilibrium fluctuations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-571
JournalNature Chemistry
Volume5
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

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