The Transition Path Sampling (TPS) method is a powerful technique for studying rare events in complex systems, that allows description of reactive events in atomic detail without prior knowledge of reaction coordinates and transition states. We have applied TPS in combination with a hybrid Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) method to study the enzyme human purine nucleoside Phosphorylase (hPNP). This enzyme catalyzes the reversible phosphorolysis of 6-oxypurine (deoxy)nucleosides to generate the corresponding purine base and (deoxy)ribose 1-phosphate. Hundreds of reactive trajectories were generated. Analysis of this transition path ensembles provides insight into the detailed mechanistic dynamics of reaction in the enzyme. Our studies have indicated a reaction mechanism involving the cleavage of the N-ribosidic bond to form transition states with substantial ribooxacarbenium ion character, that is then followed by conformational changes in the enzyme and the ribosyl group leading to migration of the anomeric carbon of the ribosyl group toward phosphate to form the product ribose 1-phosphate. This latter process is crucial in PNP, because several strong H-bonds form between active site residues in order to capture and align the phosphate nucleophile. Calculations of the commitment probability along reactive paths demonstrated the presence of a broad energy barrier at the transition state. Analysis of these transition state structures showed that bond-breaking and bond-forming distances are not a good choice for the reaction coordinate, but that the pseudorotational phase of the ribose ring is also a significant variable.
- Enzyme catalyzes
- Purine nucleoside phosphorylase
- Transition path sampling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry