PMID: 9526122Jun 4, 1998

The role of active site flexibility in enzyme catalysis

Biochemistry. Biokhimii︠a︡
C L Tsou


It has been shown in this and other laboratories that during the unfolding of a number of enzymes inactivation generally precedes global unfolding of the enzyme molecule, leading to the suggestion that enzyme active sites are usually more "fragile" and more easily "perturbed" than the molecule as a whole and are therefore conformationally more flexible than the rest of the molecule. However, the role of active site flexibility in enzyme catalysis still remains to be explored. In the induced fit hypothesis originally proposed by Koshland, the presence of the substrate induces a conformational change at the active site so as to fit with the structure of the substrate. By X-ray crystallographic structural analysis of E. coli dihydrofolate reductase liganded with cofactors and substrates, Sawaya and Kraut showed the enzyme in different conformational states indeed while complexed with different ligands, suggesting that the enzyme molecule passes through different conformational states through the whole process of catalysis. Muscle lactate dehydrogenase can be stabilized either in concentrated ammonium sulfate or by cross-linking with glutaraldehyde together with a decrease in enzyme activity which can be restored to the original le...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Protein Conformation
Structure-Activity Relationship

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