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  • 1.
    Liao, Rongzhen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry.
    Quantum Chemical Cluster Modeling of Enzymatic Reactions2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Quantum chemical cluster approach has been shown to be quite powerful and efficient in the modeling of enzyme active sites and reaction mechanisms. In this thesis, the reaction mechanisms of several enzymes have been investigated using the hybrid density functional B3LYP. The enzymes studied include four dinuclear zinc enzymes, namely dihydroorotase, N-acyl-homoserine lactone hydrolase, RNase Z, and human renal dipeptidase, two trinuclear zinc enzymes, namely phospholipase C and nuclease P1, two tungstoenzymes, namely formaldehyde ferredoxin oxidoreductase and acetylene hydratase, aspartate α-decarboxylase, and mycolic acid cyclopropane synthase. The potential energy profiles for various mechanistic scenarios have been calculated and analyzed. The role of the metal ions as well as important active site residues has been discussed.

      In the cluster approach, the effects of the parts of the enzyme that are not explicitly included in the model are taken into account using implicit solvation methods.

      For all six zinc-dependent enzymes studied, the di-zinc bridging hydroxide has been shown to be capable of performing nucleophilic attack on the substrate. In addition, one, two, or even all three zinc ions participate in the stabilization of the negative charge in the transition states and intermediates, thereby lowering the barriers.

      For the two tungstoenzymes, several different mechanistic scenarios have been considered to identify the energetically most feasible one. For both enzymes, new mechanisms are proposed.

      Finally, the mechanism of mycolic acid cyclopropane synthase has been shown to be a direct methyl transfer to the substrate double bond, followed by proton transfer to the bicarbonate.

      From the studies of these enzymes, we demonstrate that density functional calculations are able to solve mechanistic problems related to enzymatic reactions, and a wealth of new insight can be obtained.

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