Substrate binding interferes with active site conformational dynamics in endoglucanase Cel5A from Thermobifida fusca

Xukai Jiang, Yuying Wang, Limei Xu, Guanjun Chen, Lushan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The role of protein dynamics in enzyme catalysis is one of the most active areas in current enzymological research. Here, using endoglucanase Cel5A from Thermobifida fusca (TfCel5A) as a model, we applied molecular dynamics simulations to explore the dynamic behavior of the enzyme upon substrate binding. The collective motions of the active site revealed that the mechanism of TfCel5A substrate binding can likely be described by the conformational-selection model; however, we observed that the conformations of active site residues changed differently along with substrate binding. Although most active site residues retained their native conformational ensemble, some (Tyr163 and Glu355) generated newly induced conformations, whereas others (Phe162 and Tyr189) exhibited shifts in the equilibration of their conformational distributions. These results showed that TfCel5A substrate binding relied on a hybrid mechanism involving induced fit and conformational selection. Interestingly, we found that TfCel5A active site could only partly rebalance its conformational dynamics upon substrate dissociation within the same simulation time, which implies that the conformational rebalance upon substrate dissociation is likely more difficult than the conformational selection upon substrate binding at least in the view of the time required. Our findings offer new insight into enzyme catalysis and potential applications for future protein engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-240
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalysis
  • Cellulase
  • Conformational dynamics
  • Molecular dynamics

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