Dissecting the Dynamics during Enzyme Catalysis: A Case Study of Pin1 Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerase

Toshifumi Mori, Shinji Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Free energy surfaces have played a central role in studying protein conformational changes and enzymatic reactions over decades. Yet, free energy barriers and kinetics are highly dependent on the coordinates chosen to define the surface, and furthermore, the dynamics during the reactions are often overlooked. Our recent study on the Pin1-catalyzed isomerization reaction has indicated that the isomerization transition events remarkably deviate from the free energy path, highlighting the need to understand the reaction dynamics in more detail. To this end, here we investigate the reaction coordinates that describe the transition states of the free energy and transition pathways by minimizing the cross-entropy function. We show that the isomerization transition events can be expressed by the concerted changes in the improper torsion angle ζ and nearby backbone torsional angles of the ligand, whereas the transition state of the free energy surface involves changes in a broad range of coordinates including multiple protein-ligand interactions. The current result supports the previous finding that the isomerization transitions occur quickly from the conformational excited states, which is in sharp contrast to the slow and collective changes suggested from the free energy path. Our results further indicate that the coordinates derived from the transition trajectories are not sufficient for finding the transition states on the free energy surfaces due to the lack of information from conformational excited states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3396-3407
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 12 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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