Molecular dynamics simulations of an explicitly solvated cis-β-methylstyrene/chloroperoxidase-Compound I complex are performed to determine the cause of the high enantiospecificity of epoxidation. From the simulations, a two-dimensional free energy potential is calculated to distinguish binding potential wells from which reaction to 1S2R and 1R2S epoxide products may occur. Convergence of the free energy potential is accelerated with an adaptive biasing potential. Analysis of binding is followed by analysis of 1S2R and 1R2S reaction precursor structures in which the substrate, having left the binding wells, places its reactive double bond in steric proximity to the oxyferryl heme center. Structural analysis of binding and reaction precursor conformations is presented. We find that 1), a distortion of Glu(183) is important for CPO-catalyzed epoxidation as was postulated previously based on experimental results; 2), the free energy of binding does not provide significant differentiation between structures leading to the respective epoxide enantiomers; and 3), CPO's enantiospecificity toward cis-β-methylstyrene is likely to be caused by a specific group of residues which form a hydrophobic core surrounding the oxyferryl heme center.
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