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Issue 11, 2015
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Oxygen diffusion pathways in a cofactor-independent dioxygenase

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Molecular oxygen plays an important role in a wide variety of enzymatic reactions. Through recent research efforts combining computational and experimental methods a new view of O2 diffusion is emerging, where specific channels guide O2 to the active site. The focus of this work is DpgC, a cofactor-independent oxygenase. Molecular dynamics simulations, together with mutagenesis experiments and xenon-binding data, reveal that O2 reaches the active site of this enzyme using three main pathways and four different access points. These pathways connect a series of dynamic hydrophobic pockets, concentrating O2 at a specific face of the enzyme substrate. Extensive molecular dynamics simulations provide information about which pathways are more frequently used. This data is consistent with the results of kinetic measurements on mutants and is difficult to obtain using computational cavity-location methods. Taken together, our results reveal that although DpgC is rare in its ability of activating O2 in the absence of cofactors or metals, the way O2 reaches the active site is similar to that reported for other O2-using proteins: multiple access channels are available, and the architecture of the pathway network can provide regio- and stereoselectivity. Our results point to the existence of common themes in O2 access that are conserved among very different types of proteins.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen diffusion pathways in a cofactor-independent dioxygenase

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 maí 2015, accepted on 16 júl. 2015 and first published on 23 júl. 2015

Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC01638J
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2015,6, 6341-6348
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Oxygen diffusion pathways in a cofactor-independent dioxygenase

    N. V. Di Russo, H. L. Condurso, K. Li, S. D. Bruner and A. E. Roitberg, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 6341
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SC01638J

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