1645 Pre-existing soft modes of motion uniquely defined by native contact topology facilitate ligand binding to proteins
Lidio Meireles, Mert Gur, Ahmet Bakan, and Ivet Bahar
What is the role of protein flexibility in molecular recognition and binding? Recent studies have shown that the intrinsic motions of proteins accommodate and facilitate ligand binding. Here, the authors emphasize the close agreement between experimentally observed structural changes and the collective modes or paths of motion theoretically predicted from the protein's native contact topology in the absence of substrate or ligand. An ensemble of accessible paths predictable by elastic network models, rather than preexisting states, appears to underlie the predisposition of proteins to bind their substrates.