American Chemical Society
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Computing the Differences between Asn‑X and Gln‑X Deamidation and Their Impact on Pharmaceutical and Physiological Proteins: A Theoretical Investigation Using Model Dipeptides

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-22, 22:43 authored by Katherine E. Lawson, Megan N. Evans, Joseph K. Dekle, Andrew J. Adamczyk
Protein deamidation is a degradation mechanism that significantly impacts both pharmaceutical and physiological proteins. Deamidation impacts two amino acids, Asn and Gln, where the net neutral residues are converted into their acidic forms. While there are multiple similarities between the reaction mechanisms of the two residues, the impact of Gln deamidation has been noted to be most significant on physiological proteins while Asn deamidation has been linked to both pharmaceutical and physiological proteins. For this purpose, we sought to analyze the thermochemical and kinetic properties of the different reactions of Gln deamidation relative to Asn deamidation. In this study, we mapped the deamidation of Gln-X dipeptides into Glu-X dipeptides using density functional theory (DFT). Full network mapping facilitated the prediction of reaction selectivity between the two primary pathways, as well as between the two products of Gln-X deamidation as a function of solvent dielectric. To achieve this analysis, we studied a total of 77 dipeptide reactions per solvent dielectric (308 total reactions). Modeled at a neutral pH and using quantum chemical and statistical thermodynamic methods, we computed the following values: enthalpy of reaction (ΔHRXN), entropy (ΔSRXN), Gibbs free energy of reaction (ΔGRXN), activation energy (EA), and the Arrhenius preexponential factor (log­(A)) for each dipeptide. Additionally, using chemical reaction principles, we generated a database of computed rate coefficients for all possible N-terminus Gln-X deamidation reactions at a neutral pH, predicted the most likely deamidation reaction mechanism for each dipeptide reaction, analyzed our results against our prior study on Asn-X deamidation, and matched our results against qualitative trends previously noted by experimental literature.