Molecular dynamics of the P450cam–Pdx complex reveals complex stability and novel interface contacts

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Cytochrome P450cam catalyzes the stereo and regiospecific hydroxylation of camphor to 5-exo-hydroxylcamphor. The two electrons for the oxidation of camphor are provided by putidaredoxin (Pdx), a Fe2S2 containing protein. Two recent crystal structures of the P450cam–Pdx complex, one solved with the aid of covalent cross-linking and one without, have provided a structural picture of the redox partner interaction. To study the stability of the complex structure and the minor differences between the recent crystal structures, a 100 nanosecond molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of the cross-linked structure, mutatedin silicoto wild type and the linker molecule removed, was performed. The complex was stable over the course of the simulation though conformational changes including the movement of the C helix of P450cam further toward Pdx allowed for the formation of a number of new contacts at the complex interface that remained stable throughout the simulation. While several minor crystal contacts were lost in the simulation, all major contacts that had been experimentally studied previously were maintained. The equilibrated MD structure contained a mixture of contacts resembling both the cross-linked and noncovalent structures and the newly identified interactions. Finally, the reformation of the P450cam Asp251–Arg186 ion pair in the MD simulation mirrors the ion pair observed in the more promiscuous CYP101D1 and suggests that the Asp251–Arg186 ion pair may be important.

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