Author(s): Xiao BL, Ning YN, Niu NN, Li D, Moosavi-Movahedi AA, Sheibani N, Hong J. Steered molecular dynamic simulations of conformational lock of Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase. Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 13;9(1):4353. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40892-0. PMID 30867507
The conformational lock was a bio-thermodynamic theory to explain the characteristics of interfaces in oligomeric enzymes and their effects on catalytic activity. The previous studies on superoxide dismutases (Cu, Zn-SODs) showed that the dimeric structure contributed to the high catalytic efficiency and the stability. In this study, steered molecular dynamics simulations were used firstly to study the main interactions between two subunits of Cu, Zn-SODs. The decomposition process study showed that there were not only four pairs of hydrogen bonds but also twenty-five residue pairs participating hydrophobic interactions between A and B chains of SOD, and van der Waals interactions occupied a dominant position among these residue pairs. Moreover, the residue pairs of hydrogen bonds played a major role in maintaining the protein conformation. The analysis of the energy and conformational changes in the SMD simulation showed that there were two groups (two conformational locks) between A and B chains of SOD. The first group consisted of one hydrogen-bond residues pair and seven hydrophobic interactions residues pairs with a total average energy of -30.10 KJ/mol, and the second group of three hydrogen-bond residues pair and eighteen hydrophobic interactions residues pairs formed with a total average energy of -115.23 KJ/mol.