The ensemble nature of allostery

Nature. 2014 Apr 17;508(7496):331-9. doi: 10.1038/nature13001.


Allostery is the process by which biological macromolecules (mostly proteins) transmit the effect of binding at one site to another, often distal, functional site, allowing for regulation of activity. Recent experimental observations demonstrating that allostery can be facilitated by dynamic and intrinsically disordered proteins have resulted in a new paradigm for understanding allosteric mechanisms, which focuses on the conformational ensemble and the statistical nature of the interactions responsible for the transmission of information. Analysis of allosteric ensembles reveals a rich spectrum of regulatory strategies, as well as a framework to unify the description of allosteric mechanisms from different systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation*
  • Allosteric Site
  • Hemoglobins / chemistry
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Unfolding
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Hemoglobins
  • Ligands
  • Proteins