The dynamical response of hen egg white lysozyme to the binding of a carbohydrate ligand. Academic Article uri icon


  • It has become clear that the binding of small and large ligands to proteins can invoke significant changes in side chain and main chain motion in the fast picosecond to nanosecond timescale. Recently, the use of a "dynamical proxy" has indicated that changes in these motions often reflect significant changes in conformational entropy. These entropic contributions are sometimes of the same order as the total entropy of binding. Thus, it is important to understand the connections amongst motion between the manifold of states accessible to the native state of proteins, the corresponding entropy, and how this impacts the overall energetics of protein function. The interaction of proteins with carbohydrate ligands is central to a range of biological functions. Here, we examine a classic carbohydrate interaction with an enzyme: the binding of wild-type hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) to the natural, competitive inhibitor chitotriose. Using NMR relaxation experiments, backbone amide and side chain methyl axial order parameters were obtained across apo and chitotriose-bound HEWL. Upon binding, changes in the apparent amplitude of picosecond to nanosecond main chain and side chain motions are seen across the protein. Indeed, binding of chitotriose renders a large contiguous fraction of HEWL effectively completely rigid. Changes in methyl flexibility are most pronounced closest to the binding site, but average to only a small overall change in the dynamics across the protein. The corresponding change in conformational entropy is unfavorable and estimated to be a significant fraction of the total binding entropy.

published proceedings

  • Protein Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Moorman, V. R., Valentine, K. G., & Wand, A. J.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Moorman, Veronica R||Valentine, Kathleen G||Wand, A Joshua

publication date

  • July 2012