How enzyme dynamics helps catalyze a reaction in atomic detail: A transition path sampling study

Jodi E. Basner, Steven D. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


We have applied the Transition Path Sampling algorithm to the reaction catalyzed by the enzyme Lactate Dehydrogenase. This study demonstrates the ease of scaling Transition Path Sampling for applications on many degree of freedom systems, whose energy surface is a complex terrain of valleys and saddle points. As a Monte Carlo importance sampling method, transition path sampling is capable of surmounting barriers in path phase space and focuses simulation on the rare event of enzyme catalyzed atom transfers. Generation of the transition path ensemble, for this reaction, resolves a paradox in the literature in which some studies exposed the catalytic mechanism of hydride and proton transfer by lactate dehydrogenase to be concerted and others stepwise. Transition path sampling has confirmed both mechanisms as possible paths from reactants to products. With the objective to identify a generalized, reduced reaction coordinate, time series of both donor-acceptor distances and residue distances from the active site have been examined. During the transition from pyruvate to lactate, residues located behind the transferring hydride collectively compress toward the active site causing residues located behind the hydride acceptor to relax away. It is demonstrated that an incomplete compression/relaxation transition across the donor-acceptor axis compromises the reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13822-13831
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 12 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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