4-Oxalocrotonate tautomerase (4-OT), a member of tautomerase superfamily, is an essential enzyme in the degradative metabolism pathway occurring in the Krebs cycle. The proton transfer process catalyzed by 4-OT has been explored previously using both experimental and theoretical methods; however, the elaborate catalytic mechanism of 4-OT still remains unsettled. By combining classical molecular mechanics with quantum mechanics, our results demonstrate that the native hexametric 4-OT enzyme, including six protein monomers, must be employed to simulate the proton transfer process in 4-OT due to protein-protein steric and electrostatic interactions. As a consequence, only three out of the six active sites in the 4-OT hexamer are observed to be occupied by three 2-oxo-4-hexenedioates (2o4hex), i.e., half-of-the-sites occupation. This agrees with experimental observations on negative cooperative effect between two adjacent substrates. Two sequential proton transfers occur: one proton from the C3 position of 2o4hex is initially transferred to the nitrogen atom of the general base, Pro1. Subsequently, the same proton is shuttled back to the position C5 of 2o4hex to complete the proton transfer process in 4-OT. During the catalytic reaction, conformational changes (i.e., 1-carboxyl group rotation) of 2o4hex may occur in the 4-OT dimer model but cannot proceed in the hexametric structure. We further explained that the docking process of 2o4hex can influence the specific reactant conformations and an alternative substrate (2-hydroxymuconate) may serve as reactant under a different reaction mechanism than 2o4hex.