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The proficiency of a thermophilic chorismate mutase enzyme is solely through an entropic advantage in the enzyme reaction

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0509234102
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics


A study of the Thermus thermophilus chorismate mutase (TtCM) is described by using quantum mechanics (self-consistent-charge density-functional tight binding)/molecular mechanics, umbrella sampling, and the weighted histogram analysis method. The computed free energies of activation for the reactions in water and TtCM are comparable to the experimental values. The free energies for formation of near attack conformer have been determined to be 8.06 and 0.05 kcal/mol in water and TtCM, respectively. The near attack conformer stabilization contributes ≈90% to the proficiency of the enzymatic reaction compared with the reaction in water. The transition state (TS) structures and partial atom charges are much the same in the enzymatic and water reactions. The difference in the electrostatic interactions of Arg-89 with O13 in the enzyme–substrate complex and enzyme–TS complex provides the latter with but 0.55 kcal/mol of 1.92 kcal/mol total TS stabilization. Differences in electrostatic interactions between components at the active site in the enzyme–substrate complex and enzyme–TS complex are barely significant, such that TS stabilization is of minor importance and the enzymatic catalysis is through an entropic advantage.

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