Unbiased Atomistic Insight into the Mechanisms and Solvent Role for Globular Protein Dimer Dissociation
- Journal Article
Association and dissociation of proteins are fundamental processes in nature. Although simple to understand conceptually, the details of the underlying mechanisms and role of the solvent are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the dissociation of the hydrophilic β-lactoglobulin dimer by employing transition path sampling. Analysis of the sampled path ensembles reveals a variety of mechanisms: (1) a direct aligned dissociation (2) a hopping and rebinding transition followed by unbinding, and (3) a sliding transition before unbinding. Reaction coordinate and transition-state analysis predicts that, besides native contact and neighboring salt-bridge interactions, solvent degrees of freedom play an important role in the dissociation process. Bridging waters, hydrogen-bonded to both proteins, support contacts in the native state and nearby lying transition-state regions, whereas they exhibit faster dynamics in further lying transition-state regions, rendering the proteins more mobile and assisting in rebinding. Analysis of the structure and dynamics of the solvent molecules reveals that the dry native interface induces enhanced populations of both disordered hydration water near hydrophilic residues and tetrahedrally ordered hydration water nearby hydrophobic residues. Although not exhaustive, our sampling of rare unbiased reactive molecular dynamics trajectories enhances the understanding of protein dissociation via complex pathways including (multiple) rebinding events. Show more
Journal / seriesThe Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
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