Low-Frequency Protein Motions Coupled to Catalytic Sites.

Research paper by Christopher M CM Cheatum

Indexed on: 22 Apr '20Published on: 22 Apr '20Published in: Annual review of physical chemistry


This review examines low-frequency vibrational modes of proteins and their coupling to enzyme catalytic sites. That protein motions are critical to enzyme function is clear, but the kinds of motions present in proteins and how they are involved in function remain unclear. Several models of enzyme-catalyzed reaction suggest that protein dynamics may be involved in the chemical step of the catalyzed reaction, but the evidence in support of such models is indirect. Spectroscopic studies of low-frequency protein vibrations consistently show that there are underdamped modes of the protein with frequencies in the tens of wavenumbers where overdamped behavior would be expected. Recent studies even show that such underdamped vibrations modulate enzyme active sites. These observations suggest that increasingly sophisticated spectroscopic methods will be able to unravel the link between low-frequency protein vibrations and enzyme function.