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Free Energy Landscapes of the Tautomeric Interconversion of Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate Aldimines at the Active Site of Ornithine Decarboxylase in Aqueous Media

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-18, 12:36 authored by Shreya Rastogi, Amalendu Chandra
The pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) acts as a coenzyme for a large number of biochemical reactions. It exists in mainly two bound forms at the active site of the concerned enzyme: the internal aldimine, in which the PLP is bound with the ϵ-amino group of lysine at the active site, and the external aldimine, where the PLP is bound to the substrate amino acid. Both the internal and external aldimines have Schiff base linkage (N–H–O) and can exist in two tautomeric structures of ketoenamine and enolimine forms. In this work, we have investigated the free energy landscape for the tautomeric proton transfer in the internal and external aldimines at the active site of the ornithine decarboxylase enzyme in an aqueous medium. We performed hybrid quantum-classical metadynamics and force field-based molecular dynamics simulations, which revealed that the ketoenamine tautomer is more stable than the enolimine form. The QM/MM metadynamics calculations show that the free energy difference between the ketoenamine and enolimine forms for the internal aldimine is 3.9 kcal/mol, and it is found to be 5.8 kcal/mol for the external aldimine, with the ketoenamine form being more stable in both cases. The results are further supported by calculations of the binding free energies from classical simulations and static quantum chemical calculations in different environments. We have also analyzed the configurational structure of the microenvironment at the active site in order to have better insights into the interactions of the active site residues with the PLP in its two tautomeric forms.

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