Chakraborty, Srirupa; Zheng, Wenjun
Decrypting the Structural, Dynamic, and Energetic Basis of a Monomeric Kinesin Interacting with a Tubulin Dimer in Three ATPase States by All-Atom Molecular Dynamics Simulation
BIOCHEMISTRY, 54:859-869, JAN 27 2015

We have employed molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to investigate, with atomic details, the structural dynamics and energetics of three major ATPase states (ADP, APO, and ATP state) of a human kinesin-1 monomer in complex with a tubulin dimer. Starting from a recently solved crystal structure of ATP-like kinesin-tubulin complex by the Knossow lab, we have used flexible fitting of cryo-electron-microscopy maps to construct new structural models of the kinesin-tubulin complex in APO and ATP state, and then conducted extensive MD simulations (total 400 ns for each state), followed by flexibility analysis, principal component analysis, hydrogen bond analysis, and binding free energy analysis. Our modeling and simulation have revealed key nucleotide-dependent changes in the structure and flexibility of the nucleotide-binding pocket (featuring a highly flexible and open switch I in APO state) and the tubulin-binding site, and allosterically coupled motions driving the APO to ATP transition. In addition, our binding free energy analysis has identified a set of key residues involved in kinesin-tubulin binding. On the basis of our simulation, we have attempted to address several outstanding issues in kinesin study, including the possible roles of beta-sheet twist and neck linker docking in regulating nucleotide release and binding, the structural mechanism of ADP release, and possible extension and shortening of alpha 4 helix during the ATPase cycle. This study has provided a comprehensive structural and dynamic picture of kinesins major ATPase states, and offered promising targets for future mutational and functional studies to investigate the molecular mechanism of kinesin motors.


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