Solution NMR Spectroscopy for the Study of Enzyme Allostery

Chem Rev. 2016 Jun 8;116(11):6323-69. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00541. Epub 2016 Jan 6.


Allostery is a ubiquitous biological regulatory process in which distant binding sites within a protein or enzyme are functionally and thermodynamically coupled. Allosteric interactions play essential roles in many enzymological mechanisms, often facilitating formation of enzyme-substrate complexes and/or product release. Thus, elucidating the forces that drive allostery is critical to understanding the complex transformations of biomolecules. Currently, a number of models exist to describe allosteric behavior, taking into account energetics as well as conformational rearrangements and fluctuations. In the following Review, we discuss the use of solution NMR techniques designed to probe allosteric mechanisms in enzymes. NMR spectroscopy is unequaled in its ability to detect structural and dynamical changes in biomolecules, and the case studies presented herein demonstrate the range of insights to be gained from this valuable method. We also provide a detailed technical discussion of several specialized NMR experiments that are ideally suited for the study of enzymatic allostery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Binding Sites
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Hemoglobins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular*
  • Solutions / chemistry*


  • Enzymes
  • Hemoglobins
  • Solutions