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Identification of productive and futile encounters in an electron transfer protein complex

PNAS publication on protein encounter complexes

Witold Andrałojć, Yoshitaka Hiruma, Wei-Min Liu, Enrico Ravera, Masaki Nojiri, Giacomo Parigi, Claudio Luchinat, and Marcellus Ubbink
07 March 2017

A new approach to characterize encounter states of protein complexes has been published in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (PNAS) by the research groups of Prof. Ubbink and Prof. Luchinat (University of Florence). The complex of the redox proteins of cytochrome P450cam and putidaredoxin in solution is mostly in a well-defined state (>95%) but for a small fraction of the lifetime of the complex putidaredoxin also samples a large area of P450cam. This encounter state facilitates the formation of the well-defined state.

Using paramagnetic NMR spectroscopy and advanced computational methods, it was possible to map the encounter state orientations and identify which encounters are futile and which lead to product complex formation. The results help to understand how proteins manage to form specific complexes quickly.

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