The structural stability of a cytochrome c domain-swapped dimer compared with that of the monomer was investigated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and by three-dimensional reference interaction site model (3D-RISM) theory. The structural fluctuation and structural energy of cytochrome c were treated by MD simulations, and the solvation thermodynamics was treated by 3D-RISM theory. The domain-swapped dimer state is slightly less stable than the monomer state, which is consistent with experimental observations; the total free energy difference is calculated as 25 kcal mol-1. The conformational change and translational/rotational entropy change contribute to the destabilization of the dimer, whereas the hydration and vibrational entropy contribute to the stabilization. Further analyses on the residues located at the hinge loop for swapping were conducted, and the results reveal details at the molecular level of the structural and interaction changes upon dimerization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry