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Molecular dynamics simulations of hemoglobin A in different states and bound to DPG: effector-linked perturbation of tertiary conformations and HbA concerted dynamics

Molecular dynamics simulations of hemoglobin A in different states and bound to DPG: effector-linked perturbation of tertiary conformations and HbA concerted dynamics

Biophysical Journal 94(7): 2737-2751

ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3495

PMID: 18096633

DOI: 10.1529/biophysj.107.114942

Recent functional studies reported on human adult hemoglobin (HbA) show that heterotropic effector-linked tertiary structural changes are primarily responsible for modulating the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin. We present the results of 6-ns molecular dynamics simulations performed to gain insights into the dynamical and structural details of these effector-linked tertiary changes. All-atom simulations were carried out on a series of models generated for T- and R-state HbA, and for 2,3-diphosphoglycerate-bound models. Cross-correlation analyses identify both intra- and intersubunit correlated motions that are perturbed by the presence of the effector. Principal components analysis was used to decompose the covariance matrix extracted from the simulations and reconstruct the trajectories along the principal coordinates representative of functionally important collective motions. It is found that HbA in both quaternary states exists as ensembles of tertiary conformations that introduce dynamic heterogeneity in the protein. 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate induces significant perturbations in the fluctuations of both HbA states that translate into the protein visiting different tertiary conformations within each quaternary state. The analysis reveals that the presence of the effector affects the most important components of HbA motions and that heterotropic effectors modify the overall dynamics of the quaternary equilibrium via tertiary changes occurring in regions where conserved functionally significant residues are located, namely in the loop regions between helices C and E, E and F, and F and G, and in concerted helix motions. The changes are not apparent when comparing the available x-ray crystal structures in the presence and absence of effector, but are striking when comparing the respective dynamic tertiary conformations of the R and T tetramers.

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Accession: 032397827

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