Author(s): Yuan Z, Zhao J, Wang ZX
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Abstract Protein flexibility is inherent to protein structural behavior. Experimental evidence for protein flexibility is extensive both in solution and in the solid state. A major question is whether the flexibility observed in enzymes is simply an inherent property of proteins that must always be borne in mind or is essential for catalysis or substrate binding. The temperature factors or B-values, as determined crystallographically, are linearly related to the mean square displacement of an atom and give an indication of atomic flexibility in the crystalline state. In this paper, we describe the frequency distributions of the normalized B-factor (B'-factor) for the active site and non-active site residues in the selected 69 apo-enzymes. This analysis was performed over the entire sequences and for different structural subsets defined by the three-dimensional structure of proteins, as alpha-helices, beta-structures and coil conformation and buried and non-buried residues. The results show that in all cases, the active site residues predominantly occur in region of low B'-factor and the non-active site residues have a tendency to exist in the high B'-factor region. This observation suggests that the active site residues, in general, are less flexible than the non-active site residues and therefore the vibrational and the fast collective motions of the C(alpha) atoms of proteins appear not to have clear biological significance.
This article was published in Protein Eng
and referenced in Journal of Theoretical and Computational Science