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Coupled Valence-Bond State Molecular Dynamics Description of an Enzyme-Catalyzed Reaction in a Non-Aqueous Organic Solvent

Abstract : Enzymes are widely used in non-aqueous solvents to catalyze non-natural reactions. While experimental measurements showed that the solvent nature has a strong effect on the reaction kinetics, the molecular details of the catalytic mechanism in non-aqueous solvents have remained largely elusive. Here we study the transesterification reaction catalyzed by the paradigm subtilisin Carlsberg serine protease in an organic apolar solvent. The rate-limiting acylation step involves a proton transfer between active-site residues and the nucleophilic attack of the substrate to form a tetrahedral intermediate. We design the first coupled valence-bond state model that simultaneously describes both reactions in the enzymatic active site. We develop a new systematic procedure to parameterize this model on high-level ab initio QM/MM free energy calculations that account for the molecular details of the active site and for both substrate and protein conformational fluctuations. Our calculations show that the reaction energy barrier changes dramatically with the solvent and protein conformational fluctuations. We find that the mechanism of the tetrahedral intermediate formation during the acylation step is similar to that determined in aqueous conditions, and that the proton transfer and nucleophilic attack reactions occur concertedly. We identify the reaction coordinate to be mostly due to the rearrangement of some residual water molecules close to the active site.
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Elise Duboue-Dijon, Eva Pluhařová, Dominik Domin, Kakali Sen, Aoife C. Fogarty, et al.. Coupled Valence-Bond State Molecular Dynamics Description of an Enzyme-Catalyzed Reaction in a Non-Aqueous Organic Solvent. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2017, ⟨10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b03102⟩. ⟨hal-01558260⟩

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