Molecular dynamics simulation of the last step of a catalytic cycle: Product release from the active site of the enzyme chorismate mutase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis



The protein chorismate mutase MtCM from Mycobacterium tuberculosis catalyzes one of the few pericyclic reactions known in biology: the transformation of chorismate to prephenate. Chorismate mutases have been widely studied experimentally and computationally to elucidate the transition state of the enzyme catalyzed reaction and the origin of the high catalytic rate. However, studies about substrate entry and product exit to and from the highly occluded active site of the enzyme have to our knowledge not been performed on this enzyme. Crystallographic data suggest a possible substrate entry gate, that involves a slight opening of the enzyme for the substrate to access the active site. Using multiple molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the natural dynamic process of the product exiting from the binding pocket of MtCM. We identify a dominant exit pathway, which is in agreement with the gate proposed from the available crystallographic data. Helices H2 and H4 move apart from each other which enables the product to exit from the active site. Interestingly, in almost all exit trajectories, two residues arginine 72 and arginine 134, which participate in the burying of the active site, are accompanying the product on its exit journey from the catalytic site.