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J Mol Graph Model. 2007 Oct;26(3):643-51. Epub 2007 Mar 24.

Stepwise dissection and visualization of the catalytic mechanism of haloalkane dehalogenase LinB using molecular dynamics simulations and computer graphics.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Alcalá, E-28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.


The different steps of the dehalogenation reaction carried out by LinB on three different substrates have been characterized using a combination of quantum mechanical calculations and molecular dynamics simulations. This has allowed us to obtain information in atomic detail about each step of the reaction mechanism, that is, substrate entrance and achievement of the near-attack conformation, transition state stabilization within the active site, halide stabilization, water molecule activation and subsequent hydrolytic attack on the ester intermediate with formation of alcohol, and finally product release. Importantly, no bias or external forces were applied during the whole procedure so that both intermediates and products were completely free to sample configuration space in order to adapt to the plasticity of the active site and/or search for an exit. Differences in substrate reactivity were found to be correlated with the ease of adopting the near-attack conformation and two different exit pathways were found for product release that do not interfere with substrate entrance. Additional support for the different entry and exit pathways was independently obtained from an examination of the enzyme's normal modes.

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