Protein-ligand dynamics. A 96 picosecond simulation of a myoglobin-xenon complex

J Mol Biol. 1988 Jan 5;199(1):195-211. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(88)90389-0.


A 96 picosecond dynamics trajectory of myoglobin with five xenon-probe ligands in internal cavities is examined to study the effect of protein motions on ligand motion and internal cavity fluctuations. Average structural and energetic properties indicate that the simulation is well behaved. The average protein volume is similar to the volume of the X-ray model and the main-chain atom root-mean-square deviation between the X-ray model and the average dynamical structure is 1.25 A. The protein volume oscillates 3 to 4% around the volume of the X-ray structure. These fluctuations lead to changes in the internal free volume and in the size, shape and location of atom-sized cavity features. Transient cavities produced in the simulation have a crucial role in the movement of two of the ligands. One of the ligands escapes to the protein surface, whilst a second ligand travels through the protein interior. Complex gating processes involving several protein residues are responsible for producing the necessary pores through which the ligand passes between transient cavities or packing defects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Kinetics
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological*
  • Motion
  • Myoglobin*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Xenon*


  • Ligands
  • Myoglobin
  • Xenon