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Conversion of homocysteine to methionine by methionine synthase: a density functional study.

American Chemical Society
Publication Date
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Physics


This communication reports a theoretical study of the conversion of homocysteine to methionine by methionine synthase. The reaction pathway is based on density functional calculations with large basis sets, including thermodynamic, relativistic, and solvent effects. We find that the suggested SN2 mechanism explains well the experimentally observed reaction rate. The results show that the reaction is highly polar, as reflected in the change of charge density along the reaction coordinate. It is enhanced in the protein by two effects: deprotonation of the bound substrate and desolvation of substrate and cofactor in the rate-determining step.

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