Biophysical journal

Analysis of the bacterial luciferase mobile loop by replica-exchange molecular dynamics.

PMID 21156144


Bacterial luciferase contains an extended 29-residue mobile loop. Movements of this loop are governed by binding of either flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2) or polyvalent anions. To understand this process, loop dynamics were investigated using replica-exchange molecular dynamics that yielded conformational ensembles in either the presence or absence of FMNH2. The resulting data were analyzed using clustering and network analysis. We observed the closed conformations that are visited only in the simulations with the ligand. Yet the mobile loop is intrinsically flexible, and FMNH2 binding modifies the relative populations of conformations. This model provides unique information regarding the function of a crystallographically disordered segment of the loop near the binding site. Structures at or near the fringe of this network were compatible with flavin binding or release. Finally, we demonstrate that the crystallographically observed conformation of the mobile loop bound to oxidized flavin was influenced by crystal packing. Thus, our study has revealed what we believe are novel conformations of the mobile loop and additional context for experimentally determined structures.

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L8507 Luciferase from Vibrio fischeri (Photobacterium f), lyophilized powder