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Title: Probing the folded state and mechanical unfolding pathways of T4 lysozyme using all-atom and coarse-grained molecular simulation

The Bacteriophage T4 Lysozyme (T4L) is a prototype modular protein comprised of an N-terminal and a C-domain domain, which was extensively studied to understand the folding/unfolding mechanism of modular proteins. To offer detailed structural and dynamic insights to the folded-state stability and the mechanical unfolding behaviors of T4L, we have performed extensive equilibrium and steered molecular dynamics simulations of both the wild-type (WT) and a circular permutation (CP) variant of T4L using all-atom and coarse-grained force fields. Our all-atom and coarse-grained simulations of the folded state have consistently found greater stability of the C-domain than the N-domain in isolation, which is in agreement with past thermostatic studies of T4L. While the all-atom simulation cannot fully explain the mechanical unfolding behaviors of the WT and the CP variant observed in an optical tweezers study, the coarse-grained simulations based on the Go model or a modified elastic network model (mENM) are in qualitative agreement with the experimental finding of greater unfolding cooperativity in the WT than the CP variant. Interestingly, the two coarse-grained models predict different structural mechanisms for the observed change in cooperativity between the WT and the CP variant—while the Go model predicts minor modification of the unfolding pathways bymore » circular permutation (i.e., preserving the general order that the N-domain unfolds before the C-domain), the mENM predicts a dramatic change in unfolding pathways (e.g., different order of N/C-domain unfolding in the WT and the CP variant). Based on our simulations, we have analyzed the limitations of and the key differences between these models and offered testable predictions for future experiments to resolve the structural mechanism for cooperative folding/unfolding of T4L.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22416030
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ATOMS; BACTERIOPHAGES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; EQUILIBRIUM; LYSOZYME; MODIFICATIONS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; PHASE STABILITY; PROBES