Calculations of Reaction Mechanisms and Entropic Effects in Enzyme Catalysis

  • Datum: 2017-04-21 kl 13:15
  • Plats: B41, Biomedicinska Centrum (BMC) Husarg. 3, Uppsala
  • Föreläsare: Kazemi, Masoud
  • Webbsida
  • Arrangör: Beräkningsbiologi och bioinformatik
  • Kontaktperson: Kazemi, Masoud
  • Disputation


Ground state destabilization is a hypothesis to explain enzyme catalysis. The most popular interpretation of it is the entropic effect, which states that enzymes accelerate biochemical reactions by bringing the reactants to a favorable position and orientation and the entropy cost of this is compensated by enthalpy of binding. Once the enzyme-substrate complex is formed, the reaction could proceed with negligible entropy cost.

Deamination of cytidine catalyzed by E.coli cytidine deaminase appears to agree with this hypothesis. In this reaction, the chemical transformation occurs with a negligible entropy cost and the initial binding occurs with a large entropy penalty that is comparable to the entropic cost of the uncatalyzed reaction. Our calculations revealed that this reaction occurs with different mechanisms in the cytidine deaminase and water. The uncatalyzed reaction involves a concerted mechanism and the entropy cost of this reaction appears to be dominated by the reacting fragments and first solvation shell.

The catalyzed reaction occurs via a stepwise mechanism in which a hydroxide ion acts as the nucleophile. In the active site, the entropy cost of hydroxide ion formation is eliminated due to pre-organization of the active site. Hence, the entropic effect in this reaction is due to a pre-organized active site rather than ground state destabilization.

In the second part of this thesis, we investigated peptide bond formation and peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis at the peptidyl transferase center of the ribosome. Peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis occurs by nucleophilic attack of a water molecule on the ester carbon of peptidyl-tRNA. Our calculations showed that this reaction proceeds via a base catalyzed mechanism where the A76 O2’ is the general base and activates the nucleophilic water.

Peptide bond formation occurs by nucleophilic attack of the α-amino group of aminoacyl-tRNA on the ester carbon of peptidyl-tRNA. For this reaction we investigated two mechanisms: i) the previously proposed proton shuttle mechanism which involves a zwitterionic tetrahedral intermediate, and ii) a general base mechanism that proceeds via a negatively charged tetrahedral intermediate. Although both mechanisms resulted in reasonable activation energies, only the proton shuttle mechanism found to be consistent with the pH dependence of peptide bond formation.