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Water Distribution within Wild-Type NRas Protein and Q61 Mutants during Unrestrained QM/MM Dynamics

Abstract : Point mutations in p21ras are associated with ∼30% of human tumors by disrupting its GTP hydrolysis cycle, which is critical to its molecular switch function in cellular signaling pathways. In this work, we investigate the impact of Gln 61 substitutions in the structure of the p21N-ras active site and particularly focus on water reorganization around GTP, which appears to be crucial to evaluate favorable and unfavorable hydration sites for hydrolysis. The NRas-GTP complex is analyzed using a hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach, treating for the first time to our knowledge transient water molecules at the ab initio level and leading to results that account for the electrostatic coupling between the protein complex and the solvent. We show that for the wild-type protein, water molecules are found around the GTP γ-phosphate group, forming an arch extended from residues 12 to 35. Two density peaks are observed, supporting previous results that suggest the presence of two water molecules in the active site, one in the vicinity of residue 35 and a second one stabilized by hydrogen bonds formed with nitrogen backbone atoms of residues 12 and 60. The structural changes observed in NRas Gln 61 mutants result in the drastic delocalization of water molecules that we discuss. In mutants Q61H and Q61K, for which water distribution is overlocalized next to residue 60, the second density peak supports the hypothesis of a second water molecule. We also conclude that Gly 60 indirectly participates in GTP hydrolysis by correctly positioning transient water molecules in the protein complex and that Gln 61 has an indirect steric effect in stabilizing the preorganized catalytic site.
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https://hal.laas.fr/hal-01880032
Contributor : Marie Brut <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 24, 2018 - 2:22:59 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 3:05:11 AM

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Ruth Elena Tichauer, Gilles Favre, Stéphanie Cabantous, Georges Landa, Anne Hémeryck, et al.. Water Distribution within Wild-Type NRas Protein and Q61 Mutants during Unrestrained QM/MM Dynamics. Biophysical Journal, Biophysical Society, 2018, 115 (8), pp.1417-1430. ⟨10.1016/j.bpj.2018.07.042⟩. ⟨hal-01880032⟩

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