A Molecular Dynamics Study of Allosteric Transitions in Leishmania mexicana Pyruvate Kinase

Ankita Naithani, Paul Taylor, Burak Erman, Malcolm D. Walkinshaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comparative molecular dynamics analysis of the pyruvate kinase from Leishmania mexicana is presented in the absence and presence of the allosteric effector fructose 2,6-bisphosphate. Comparisons of the simulations of the large 240kDa apo and holo tetramers show that binding of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate cools the enzyme and reduces dynamic movement, particularly of the B-domain. The reduced dynamic movement of the holo form traps the pyruvate kinase tetramer in its enzymatically active state with the B-domain acting as a lid to cover the active site. The simulations are also consistent with a transition of the mobile active-site α6' helix, which would adopt a helical conformation in the active R-state and a less structured coil conformation in the inactive T-state. Analysis of the rigid body motions over the trajectory highlights the concerted anticorrelated rigid body rocking motion of the four protomers, which drives the T to R transition. The transitions predicted by these simulations are largely consistent with the Monod-Wyman-Changeux model for allosteric activation but also suggest that rigidification or cooling of the overall structure upon effector binding plays an additional role in enzyme activation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Early online date22 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'A Molecular Dynamics Study of Allosteric Transitions in Leishmania mexicana Pyruvate Kinase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this