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Biophys J. Mar 2002; 82(3): 1133–1146.
PMCID: PMC1301919

Molecular mechanisms of calcium and magnesium binding to parvalbumin.


Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the relationship between the coordinating residues of the EF-hand calcium binding loop of parvalbumin and the overall plasticity and flexibility of the protein. The first simulation modeled the transition from Ca(2+) to Mg(2+) coordination by varying the van der Waals parameters for the bound metal ions. The glutamate at position 12 could be accurately and reversibly seen to be a source of selective bidentate ligation of Ca(2+) in the simulations. A second simulation correlated well with the experimental observation that an E101D substitution at EF loop position 12 results in a dramatically less tightly bound monodentate Ca(2+) coordination by aspartate. A final set of simulations investigated Ca(2+) binding in the E101D mutant loop in the presence of applied external forces designed to impose bidentate coordination. The results of these simulations illustrate that the aspartate is capable of attaining a suitable orientation for bidentate coordination, thus implying that it is the inherent rigidity of the loop that prevents bidentate coordination in the parvalbumin E101D mutant.

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Selected References

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