[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The EF-hand superfamily of proteins is characterized by the presence of calcium binding helix-loop- helix structures. Many of these proteins undergo considerable motion responsible for a wide range of properties upon binding but the exact mechanism at the root of this motion is not fully understood. Here, we use an unbiased accelerated multiscale simulation scheme, coupled with two force fields — CHARMM-EEF1 and the extended OPEP — to explore in details the closing pathway, from the unbound holo state to the closed apo state, of two EF-hand proteins, the Calmodulin and Troponin C N-terminal nodules. Based on a number of closing simulations for these two sequences, we show that the EF-hand β-scaffold, identified as crucial by Grabarek for the EF-hand opening driven by calcium binding, is also important in closing the EF-hand. We also show the crucial importance of the phenylalanine situated at the end of first EF-hand helix, and identify an intermediate state modulating its behavior, providing a detailed picture of the closing mechanism for these two representatives of EF-hand proteins.
The Journal of Chemical Physics 01/2012; 136:035101. · 3.16 Impact Factor