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Free Energy Barrier Estimation for the Dissociation of Charged Protein Complexes in the Gas Phase

TitleFree Energy Barrier Estimation for the Dissociation of Charged Protein Complexes in the Gas Phase
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWanasundara, SN, Thachuk, M
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume113
Pagination3814-3821
Date PublishedApr
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1089-5639
KeywordsASSEMBLIES, ELECTROSPRAY-IONIZATION, MASS-SPECTROMETRY, MODEL, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, ORIGIN, PATHWAYS, SIMULATIONS, SYSTEMS, THERMAL-DISSOCIATION
Abstract

Free energies are calculated for the protonated cytochrome c’ dimer ion in the gas phase as a function of the center of mass distance between the monomers. A number of different charge partitionings are examined as well as the behavior of the neutral complex. It is found that monomer unfolding competes with complex dissociation and that the relative importance of these two factors depends upon the charge partitioning in the complex. Symmetric charge partitionings preferentially suppress the dissociation barrier relative to unfolding, and complexes tend to dissociate promptly with little structural changes occurring in the monomers. Alternatively, asymmetric charge partitionings preferentially lower the barrier for monomer unfolding relative to the dissociation barrier. In this case, the monomer with the higher charge unfolds before the complex dissociates. For the homodimer considered here, this pathway has a large free energy barrier. The results can be rationalized using schematic two-dimensional free energy surfaces. Additionally, for large multimeric complexes, it is argued that the unfolding and subsequent charging of a single monomer is a favorable process, cooperatively lowering both the unfolding and dissociation barriers at the same time.

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