Skip to main content

Correlated Response of Protein Side-Chain Fluctuations and Conformational Entropy to Ligand Binding

by Rajitha R Tatikonda, Moumita Saharay, Jeremy C Smith, Marimuthu Krishnan
Publication Type
Journal Name
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 1

The heterogeneous fast side-chain dynamics of proteins plays crucial roles in molecular recognition and binding. Site-specific NMR experiments quantify these motions by measuring the model-free order parameter (Oaxis2) on a scale of 0 (most flexible) to 1 (least flexible) for each methyl-containing residue of proteins. Here, we have examined ligand-induced variations in the fast side-chain dynamics and conformational entropy of calmodulin (CaM) using five different CaM–peptide complexes. Oaxis2 of CaM in the ligand-free (Oaxis,U2) and ligand-bound (Oaxis,B2) states are calculated from molecular dynamics trajectories and conformational energy surfaces obtained using the adaptive biasing force (ABF) method. ΔOaxis2 = Oaxis,B2 – Oaxis,U2 follows a Gaussian-like unimodal distribution whose second moment is a potential indicator of the binding affinity of these complexes. The probability for the binding-induced Oaxis,U2 → Oaxis,B2 transition decreases with increasing magnitude of ΔOaxis2, indicating that large flexibility changes are improbable for side chains of CaM after ligand binding. A linear correlation established between ΔOaxis2 and the conformational entropy change of the protein makes possible the determination of the conformational entropy of binding of protein–ligand complexes. The results not only underscore the functional importance of fast side-chain fluctuations but also highlight key motional and thermodynamic correlates of protein–ligand binding.