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, 125 (49), 15028-38

What Is So Special About Arg 55 in the Catalysis of Cyclophilin A? Insights From Hybrid QM/MM Simulations


What Is So Special About Arg 55 in the Catalysis of Cyclophilin A? Insights From Hybrid QM/MM Simulations

Guohui Li et al. J Am Chem Soc.


Potential of mean force (PMF) simulations with a hybrid QM/MM potential function were used to analyze the catalytic mechanism of human cyclophilin A (CypA). PMF calculations were performed for proline isomerization of peptides in solution, the wild-type CypA, and several CypA mutants. With an approximate density functional theory, the self-consistent-charge density functional tight binding (SCC-DFTB) as the QM level, and CHARMM 22 force field as MM, satisfactory energetics compared to available experiments were obtained. Calculations for the Arg55Ala and zero-charge-Arg55 mutants clearly indicated that Arg 55 significantly stabilizes the isomerization transition state through electrostatic interactions. However, the decrease in the average distance (thus the increase in interaction) between Arg 55 and the substrate amide N in going from the stable states to the transition state is mainly due to the pyramidalization of the amide N rather than motions associated with Arg 55. Although the nanosecond simulations cannot exclude the existence of sub-millisecond collective motions proposed on the basis of recent elegant NMR relaxation and line-shape analyses, the energetics obtained for the various enzyme systems here indicate that the contribution from motions of active site residues to catalysis is expected to be small. Instead, the present simulations support that the structural stability rather than mobility of the preorganized active site is more important. Through hydrogen-bonding interactions among the substrate, Arg 55, Gln 63, and Asn 102, the active site of the wild-type enzyme is structurally very stable and puts Arg 55 in a favorable position to perform its catalytic role in the transition state. This is further illustrated with the somewhat unexpected prediction that Arg55Lys is largely catalytically inactive, because Lys does not have the unique bifurcating construct of the guanidino group in Arg and thus the active site of Arg55Lys cannot accommodate Lys in a position capable of providing electrostatic stabilization of the isomerization transition state. Among all the enzyme systems studied, the wild-type CypA is the only one that selects the syn/exo transition state, while the syn/endo conformation is also present in the mutants, which is another reason for their higher barriers. Finally, the present analysis indicated that the population of near-attack-conformations (NAC) is not relevant to catalysis in CypA.

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