Coherent Conformational Degrees of Freedom as a Structural Basis for Allosteric Communication
TypePeer reviewed; Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Conformational changes in allosteric regulation can to a large extent be described as motion along one or a few coherent degrees of freedom. The states involved are inherent to the protein, in the sense that they are visited by the protein also in the absence of effector ligands. Previously, we developed the measure binding leverage to find sites where ligand binding can shift the conformational equilibrium of a protein. Binding leverage is calculated for a set of motion vectors representing independent conformational degrees of freedom. In this paper, to analyze allosteric communication between binding sites, we introduce the concept of leverage coupling, based on the assumption that only pairs of sites that couple to the same conformational degrees of freedom can be allosterically connected. We demonstrate how leverage coupling can be used to analyze allosteric communication in a range of enzymes (regulated by both ligand binding and post-translational modifications) and huge molecular machines such as chaperones. Leverage coupling can be calculated for any protein structure to analyze both biological and latent catalytic and regulatory sites.