Conformational change category listing 2 | Beckstein Lab

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Crystal structure of the sodium-proton antiporter NhaA dimer and new mechanistic insights

Crystal structure of the sodium-proton antiporter NhaA dimer and new mechanistic insights

A new crystal structure of the Escherichia coli NhaA dimer reveals a previously unidentified salt bridge between two highly conserved residues at the putative binding site. The combination of structural data with molecular dynamics simulations yields new insights into the transport mechanism.

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AdK apo PMF

AdK apo PMF

The enzyme adenylate kinase (AdK) undergoes a large hinge-like motion. In 2009, we studied the conformational transition between open and closed E. coli AdK without substrate, i.e. “apo AdK”, with a variety of computational methods. As part of the study we also produced a free energy landscape (a potential of mean force or PMF) as a function of the two domain angles. Here we make the data of the underlying free energy landscape available to other researchers so that they can use them in their own research.

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Sampling macromolecular transitions

Sampling macromolecular transitions

While equilibrium MD is considered the most robust approach to simulating macromolecular conformational changes, conformational transitions are rare events that take place on much faster timescales than the waiting times spent in metastable equilibrium states. Equilibrium simulations thus spend relatively little time sampling actual transition events. Fast transition path sampling methods seek to mitigate the rare event sampling problem, though the full extent to which biased or coarse-grained approaches can replicate physical ensembles of transitions is unknown.

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