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PLoS Comput Biol. 2010 Nov 11;6(11):e1000994. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000994.

The role of oligomerization and cooperative regulation in protein function: the case of tryptophan synthase.

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1
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California, USA.

Abstract

The oligomerization/co-localization of protein complexes and their cooperative regulation in protein function is a key feature in many biological systems. The synergistic regulation in different subunits often enhances the functional properties of the multi-enzyme complex. The present study used molecular dynamics and Brownian dynamics simulations to study the effects of allostery, oligomerization and intermediate channeling on enhancing the protein function of tryptophan synthase (TRPS). TRPS uses a set of α/β-dimeric units to catalyze the last two steps of L-tryptophan biosynthesis, and the rate is remarkably slower in the isolated monomers. Our work shows that without their binding partner, the isolated monomers are stable and more rigid. The substrates can form fairly stable interactions with the protein in both forms when the protein reaches the final ligand-bound conformations. Our simulations also revealed that the α/β-dimeric unit stabilizes the substrate-protein conformation in the ligand binding process, which lowers the conformation transition barrier and helps the protein conformations shift from an open/inactive form to a closed/active form. Brownian dynamics simulations with a coarse-grained model illustrate how protein conformations affect substrate channeling. The results highlight the complex roles of protein oligomerization and the fine balance between rigidity and dynamics in protein function.

PMID:
21085641
PMCID:
PMC2978696
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000994
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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