Enzyme activity below the dynamical transition at 220 K

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Enzyme activity requires the activation of anharmonic motions, such as jumps between potential energy wells. However, in general, the forms and time scales of the functionally important anharmonic dynamics coupled to motion along the reaction coordinate remain to be determined. In particular, the question arises whether the temperature-dependent dynamical transition from harmonic to anharmonic motion in proteins, which has been observed experimentally and using molecular dynamics simulation, involves the activation of motions required for enzyme function. Here we present parallel measurements of the activity and dynamics of a cryosolution of glutamate dehydrogenase as a function of temperature. The dynamical atomic fluctuations faster than ~100 ps were determined using neutron scattering. The results show that the enzyme remains active below the dynamical transition observed at ~220 K, i.e., at temperatures where no anharmonic motion is detected. Furthermore, the activity shows no significant deviation from Arrhenius behavior down to 190 K. The results indicate that the observed transition in the enzyme's dynamics is decoupled from the rate-limiting step along the reaction coordinate.




Daniel, R. M., Smith, J. C., Ferrand, M., Héry, S., Dunn, R., & Finney, J. L. (1998). Enzyme activity below the dynamical transition at 220 K. Biophysical Journal, 75(5), 2504–2507. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(98)77694-5

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