Revealing Atomic-Level Mechanisms of Protein Allostery with Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Samuel Hertig, Naomi R. Latorraca, Ron O. Dror, Jin Liu
2016 PLoS Computational Biology  
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have become a powerful and popular method for the study of protein allostery, the widespread phenomenon in which a stimulus at one site on a protein influences the properties of another site on the protein. By capturing the motions of a protein's constituent atoms, simulations can enable the discovery of allosteric binding sites and the determination of the mechanistic basis for allostery. These results can provide a foundation for applications including
more » ... nal drug design and protein engineering. Here, we provide an introduction to the investigation of protein allostery using molecular dynamics simulation. We emphasize the importance of designing simulations that include appropriate perturbations to the molecular system, such as the addition or removal of ligands or the application of mechanical force. We also demonstrate how the bidirectional nature of allostery-the fact that the two sites involved influence one another in a symmetrical mannercan facilitate such investigations. Through a series of case studies, we illustrate how these concepts have been used to reveal the structural basis for allostery in several proteins and protein complexes of biological and pharmaceutical interest. PLOS Computational Biology |
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004746 pmid:27285999 pmcid:PMC4902200 fatcat:olv67vwnirgvlgm6e7uplgeejm