Measuring Entropy in Molecular Recognition by Proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Molecular recognition by proteins is fundamental to the molecular basis of biology. Dissection of the thermodynamic landscape governing protein-ligand interactions has proven difficult because determination of various entropic contributions is quite challenging. Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation measurements, theory, and simulations suggest that conformational entropy can be accessed through a dynamical proxy. Here, we review the relationship between measures of fast side-chain motion and the underlying conformational entropy. The dynamical proxy reveals that the contribution of conformational entropy can range from highly favorable to highly unfavorable and demonstrates the potential of this key thermodynamic variable to modulate protein-ligand interactions. The dynamical so-called entropy meter also refines the role of solvent entropy and directly determines the loss in rotational-translational entropy that occurs upon formation of high-affinity complexes. The ability to quantify the roles of entropy through an entropy meter based on measurable dynamical properties promises to highlight its role in protein function.

published proceedings

  • Annu Rev Biophys

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Wand, A. J., & Sharp, K. A.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Wand, A Joshua||Sharp, Kim A

publication date

  • May 2018