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Path Ensembles for Pin1-Catalyzed Cis–Trans Isomerization of a Substrate Calculated by Weighted Ensemble Simulations

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journal contribution
posted on 26.03.2021, 19:14 by Kei Moritsugu, Norifumi Yamamoto, Yasushige Yonezawa, Shin-ichi Tate, Hiroshi Fujisaki
Pin1 enzyme protein recognizes specifically phosphorylated serine/threonine (pSer/pThr) and catalyzes the slow interconversion of the peptidyl-prolyl bond between cis and trans forms. Structural dynamics between the cis and trans forms are essential to reveal the underlying molecular mechanism of the catalysis. In this study, we apply the weighted ensemble (WE) simulation method to obtain comprehensive path ensembles for the Pin1-catalyzed isomerization process. Associated rate constants for both cis-to-trans and trans-to-cis isomerization are calculated to be submicroseconds time scales, which are in good agreement with the calculated free energy landscape where the cis form is slightly less favorable. The committor-like analysis indicates the shift of the transition state toward trans form (at the isomerization angle ω ∼ 110°) compared to the intrinsic position for the isolated substrate (ω ∼ 90°). The calculated structural ensemble clarifies a role of both the dual-histidine motif, His59/His157, and the basic residues, Lys63/Arg68/Arg69, to anchor both sides of the peptidyl-prolyl bond, the aromatic ring in Pro, and the phosphate in pSer, respectively. The rotation of the torsion angle is found to be facilitated by relaying the hydrogen-bond partner of the main-chain oxygen in pSer from Cys113 in the cis form to Arg68 in the trans form, through Ser154 at the transition state, which is really the cause of the shift in the transition state. The role of Ser154 as a driving force of the isomerization is confirmed by additional WE and free energy calculations for S154A mutant where the isomerization takes place slightly slower and the free energy barrier increases through the mutation. The present study shows the usefulness of the WE simulation for substantial path samplings between the reactant and product states, unraveling the molecular mechanism of the enzyme catalysis.