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A Network of Conformational Transitions Revealed by Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Binary Complex of Escherichia coli 6‑Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin Pyrophosphokinase with MgATP

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journal contribution
posted on 16.11.2016, 00:00 by Kaifu Gao, Ya Jia, Minghui Yang
6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK) catalyzes the first reaction in the folate biosynthetic pathway. Comparison of its X-ray and nuclear magnetic resonance structures suggests that the enzyme undergoes significant conformational change upon binding to its substrates, especially in three catalytic loops. Experimental research has shown that, in its binary form, even bound by analogues of MgATP, loops 2 and 3 remain rather flexible; this raises questions about the putative large-scale induced-fit conformational change of the HPPK–MgATP binary complex. In this work, long-time all-atomic molecular dynamics simulations were conducted to investigate the loop dynamics in this complex. Our simulations show that, with loop 3 closed, multiple conformations of loop 2, including the open, semiopen, and closed forms, are all accessible to the binary complex. These results provide valuable structural insights into the details of conformational changes upon 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin (HP) binding and biological activities of HPPK. Conformational network analysis and principal component analysis related to the loops are also discussed.