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Aminoacylation reaction is the first step of protein biosynthesis. The catalytic reorganization at the active site of aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) is driven by the loop motions. There remain lacunae of understanding concerning the catalytic loop dynamics in aaRSs. We analyzed the functional loop dynamics in seryl tRNA synthetase from Methanopyrus kandleri (mkSerRS) and histidyl tRNA synthetases from Thermus thermophilus (ttHisRS), respectively, using molecular dynamics. Results confirm that the motif 2 loop and other active site loops are flexible spots within the catalytic domain. Catalytic residues of the loops form a network of interaction with the substrates to form a reactive state. The loops undergo transitions between closed state and open state and the relaxation of the constituent residues occurs in femtosecond to nanosecond time scale. Order parameters are higher for constituent catalytic residues which form a specific network of interaction with the substrates to form a reactive state compared to the Gly residues within the loop. The development of interaction is supported from mutation studies where the catalytic domain with mutated loop exhibits unfavorable binding energy with the substrates. During the open-close motion of the loops, the catalytic residues make relaxation by ultrafast librational motion as well as fast diffusive motion and subsequently relax rather slowly via slower diffusive motion. The Gly residues act as a hinge to facilitate the loop closing and opening by their faster relaxation behavior. The role of bound water is analyzed by comparing implicit solvent-based and explicit solvent-based simulations. Loops fail to form catalytically competent geometry in absence of water. The present result, for the first time reveals the nature of the active site loop dynamics in aaRS and their influence on catalysis.


Saheb Dutta, Soumya Kundu, Amrita Saha, Nilashis Nandi. Dynamics of the active site loops in catalyzing aminoacylation reaction in seryl and histidyl tRNA synthetases. Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics. 2017 Mar 20:1-15

PMID: 28317434

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