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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hydride transfer reaction catalyzed by hyperthermophilic dihydrofolate reductase is dominated by quantum mechanical tunneling and is promoted by both inter- and intramonomeric correlated motions.

Simulations of hydride and deuteride transfer catalyzed by dihydrofolate reductase from the hyperthermophile Thermotoga maritima (TmDHFR) are presented. TmDHFR was modeled with its active homodimeric quaternary structure, where each monomer has three subdomains. The potential energy function was a combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical potential (69 atoms were treated quantum mechanically, and 35 287, by molecular mechanics). The calculations of the rate constants by ensemble-averaged variational transition state theory with multidimensional tunneling predicted that hydride and deuteride transfer at 278 K proceeded with 81 and 80% by tunneling. These percentages decreased to 50 and 49% at 338 K. The kinetic isotope effect was dominated by contributions of bound vibrations and decreased from 3.0 to 2.2 over the temperature range. The calculated rates for hydride and deuteride transfer catalyzed by the hypothetical monomer were smaller by approximately 2 orders of magnitude. At 298 K tunneling contributed 73 and 66% to hydride and deuteride transfer in the monomer. The decreased catalytic efficiency of the monomer was therefore not the result of a decrease of the tunneling contribution but an increase in the quasi-classical activation free energy. The catalytic effect was associated in the dimer with correlated motions between domains as well as within and between subunits. The intrasubunit correlated motions were decreased in the monomer when compared to both native dimeric TmDHFR and monomeric E. coli enzyme. TmDHFR and its E. coli homologue involve similar patterns of correlated interactions that affect the free energy barrier of hydride transfer despite only 27% sequence identity and different quaternary structures.[1]


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