Effect of protein environment within cytochrome P450cam evaluated using a polarizable-embedding QM/MM method

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2084-2092
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


Metalloenzymes accommodate cofactors and substrates in their active sites, thereby exerting powerful catalytic effects. Understanding the key elements of the mechanism via which such binding is accomplished using a number of atoms in a protein is a fundamental challenge. To address this issue computationally, here we used mechanical-embedding (ME), electronic-embedding (EE), and polarizable-embedding (PE) hybrid quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods and performed an energy decomposition analysis (EDA) of the nonbonding protein environmental effect in the "compound I" intermediate state of cytochrome P450cam. The B3LYP and AMBER99/QP302 methods were used to deal with the QM and MM subsystems, respectively, and the nonbonding interaction energy between these subsystems was decomposed into electrostatic, van der Waals, and polarization contributions. The PE-QM/MM calculation was performed using polarizable force fields that were capable of describing induced dipoles within the MM subsystem, which arose in response to the electric field generated by QM electron density, QM nuclei, and MM point charges. The present QM/MM EDA revealed that the electrostatic term constituted the largest stabilizing interaction between the QM and MM subsystems. When proper adjustment was made for the point charges of the MM atoms located at the QM-MM boundary, EE-QM/MM and PE-QM/MM calculations yielded similar QM electron density distributions, indicating that the MM polarization effect does not have a significant influence on the extent of QM polarization in this particular enzyme system. © 2014 American Chemical Society.