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Chem Phys. 2012 Mar 2;396:84-91.

Large-scale motions in the adenylate kinase solution ensemble: coarse-grained simulations and comparison with solution X-ray scattering.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1101 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.


While coarse-grained (CG) simulations provide an efficient approach to identify small- and large-scale motions important to protein conformational transitions, coupling with appropriate experimental validation is essential. Here, by comparing small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) predictions from CG simulation ensembles of adenylate kinase (AK) with a range of energetic parameters, we demonstrate that AK is flexible in solution in the absence of ligand and that a small population of the closed form exists without ligand. In addition, by analyzing variation of scattering patterns within CG simulation ensembles, we reveal that rigid-body motion of the LID domain corresponds to a dominant scattering feature. Thus, we have developed a novel approach for three-dimensional structural interpretation of SAXS data. Finally, we demonstrate that the agreement between predicted and experimental SAXS can be improved by increasing the simulation temperature or by computationally mutating selected residues to glycine, both of which perturb LID rigid-body flexibility.

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