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Substrate Binding Stiffens Aspartate Aminotransferase by Altering the Enzyme Picosecond Vibrational Dynamics...

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Omega
Publication Date
Page Numbers
18787 to 18797

Protein dynamics on various time scales from femtoseconds to milliseconds impacts biological function by driving proteins to conformations conducive to ligand binding and creating functional states in enzyme catalysis. Neutron vibrational spectroscopy carried out by measuring inelastic neutron scattering from protein molecules in combination with molecular simulations has the unique ability of detecting and visualizing changes in the picosecond protein vibrational dynamics due to ligand binding. Here we present neutron vibrational spectra of a homodimeric pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-dependent enzyme, aspartate aminotransferase, obtained from the open internal aldimine and closed external aldimine conformational states. We observe that in the external aldimine state the protein structure stiffens relative to the internal aldimine state, indicating rigidified vibrational dynamics on the picosecond time scale in the low-frequency regime of 5–50 cm–1. Our molecular dynamics simulations indicate substantial changes in the picosecond dynamics of the enzyme secondary structure elements upon substrate binding, with the largest contributions from just two helices and the β-sheet.