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Structure and thermodynamics of RNA-protein binding: using molecular dynamics and free energy analyses to calculate the free energies of binding and conformational change



Structure and thermodynamics of RNA-protein binding: using molecular dynamics and free energy analyses to calculate the free energies of binding and conformational change



Journal of Molecular Biology 297(5): 1145-1158



An adaptive binding mechanism, requiring large conformational rearrangements, occurs commonly with many RNA-protein associations. To explore this process of reorganization, we have investigated the conformational change upon spliceosomal U1A-RNA binding with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and free energy analyses. We computed the energetic cost of conformational change in U1A-hairpin and U1A-internal loop binding using a hybrid of molecular mechanics and continuum solvent methods. Encouragingly, in all four free energy comparisons (two slightly different proteins, two different RNAs), the free macromolecule was more stable than the bound form by the physically reasonable value of approximately 10 kcal/mol. We calculated the absolute binding free energies for both complexes to be in the same range as that found experimentally.

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Accession: 009986722

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10764579

DOI: 10.1006/jmbi.2000.3629


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