Why Does Asn71 Deamidate Faster Than Asn15 in the Enzyme Triosephosphate Isomerase? Answers from Microsecond Molecular Dynamics Simulation and QM/MM Free Energy Calculations

Ugur I., Marion A., Aviyente V., Monard G.

BIOCHEMISTRY, vol.54, no.6, pp.1429-1439, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/bi5008047
  • Journal Name: BIOCHEMISTRY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1429-1439


Deamidation is the uncatalyzed process by which asparagine or glutamine can be transformed into aspartic acid or glutamic acid, respectively. In its active homodimeric form, mammalian triosephosphate isomerase (TPI) contains two deamidation sites per monomer. Experimental evidence shows that the primary deamidation site (Asn71-Gly72) deamidates faster than the secondary deamidation site (Asn15-Gly16). To evaluate the factors controlling the rates of these two deamidation sites in TPI, we have performed graphics processing unit-enabled microsecond long molecular dynamics simulations of rabbit TPI. The kinetics of asparagine dipeptide and two deamidation sites in mammalian TPI are also investigated using quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical tools with the umbrella sampling technique. Analysis of the simulations has been performed using independent global and local descriptors that can influence the deamidation rates: desolvation effects, backbone acidity, and side chain conformations. Our findings show that all the descriptors add up to favor the primary deamidation site over the secondary one in mammalian TPI: Asn71 deamidates faster because it is more solvent accessible, the adjacent glycine NH backbone acidity is enhanced, and the Asn side chain has a preferential near attack conformation. The crucial impact of the backbone amide acidity of the adjacent glycine on the deamidation rate is shown by kinetic analysis. Our findings also shed light on the effect of high-order structure on deamidation: the deamidation in a small peptide is favored first because of the higher reactivity of the asparagine residue and then because of the stronger stability of the tetrahedral intermediate.