Dynamics, flexibility and ligand-induced conformational changes in biological macromolecules: a computational approach

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Biomolecules possess important dynamical properties that enable them to adapt and alternate their conformation as a response to environmental stimuli. Recent advancements in computational resources and methodology allow a higher capability to mimic in vitro conditions and open up the possibility of studying large systems over longer timescales. Here, we describe commonly used computational approaches for studying the dynamic properties of proteins. We review a selected set of simulation studies on ligand-induced changes in the chaperonin GroEL–GroES, a molecular folding machine, maltose-binding protein, a prototypical member of the periplasmic binding proteins, and the bacterial ribosomal A-site, focusing on aminoglycoside antibiotic recognition. We also discuss a recent quantitative reconstruction of the binding process of benzamidine and trypsin. These studies contribute to the understanding and further development of the medicinal regulation of large biomolecular systems.

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