Robert I. Cukier

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UNLABELLED BACKGROUND During elongation, multi-subunit RNA polymerases (RNAPs) cycle between phosphodiester bond formation and nucleic acid translocation. In the conformation associated with catalysis, the mobile "trigger loop" of the catalytic subunit closes on the nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) substrate. Closing of the trigger loop is expected to(More)
Proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) is an important mechanism for charge transfer in a wide variety of systems including biology- and materials-oriented venues. We review several areas where the transfer of an electron and proton is tightly coupled and discuss model systems that can provide an experimental basis for a test of PCET theory. In a PCET(More)
The cyclooxygenase (COX) activity of prostaglandin endoperoxide H synthases (PGHSs) converts arachidonic acid and O2 to prostaglandin G2 (PGG2). PGHS peroxidase (POX) activity reduces PGG2 to PGH2. The first step in POX catalysis is formation of an oxyferryl heme radical cation (Compound I), which undergoes intramolecular electron transfer forming(More)
A large domain motion in adenylate kinase from E. coli (AKE) is studied with molecular dynamics. AKE undergoes a large-scale rearrangement of its lid and AMP-binding domains when the open form closes over its substrates, AMP, and Mg2+-ATP, whereby the AMP-binding and lid domains come closer to the core. The third domain, the core, is relatively stable(More)
The bridge α-helix in the β' subunit of RNA polymerase (RNAP) borders the active site and may have roles in catalysis and translocation. In Escherichia coli RNAP, a bulky hydrophobic segment near the N-terminal end of the bridge helix is identified (β' 772-YFI-774; the YFI motif). YFI is located at a distance from the active center and adjacent to a glycine(More)
Adenylate kinase undergoes large-scale motions of its LID and AMP-binding (AMPbd) domains when its apo, open form closes over its substrates, AMP and Mg2+-ATP. It may be an example of an enzyme that provides an ensemble of conformations in its apo state from which its substrates can select and bind to produce catalytically competent conformations. In this(More)
Molecular dynamics simulation of Thermus thermophilus (Tt) RNA polymerase (RNAP) in a catalytic conformation demonstrates that the active site dNMP-NTP base pair must be substantially dehydrated to support full active site closing and optimum conditions for phosphodiester bond synthesis. In silico mutant beta R428A RNAP, which was designed based on(More)
HPPK (6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase) catalyzes the transfer of pyrophosphate from ATP to HP (6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin). This first reaction in the folate biosynthetic pathway is a potential target for antimicrobial agents. A Hamiltonian replica exchange method (HREM) molecular dynamics (MD) approach is used, with the goal of(More)
Conformational states and their interconversion pathways of the zwitterionic form of the pentapeptide Met-enkephalin (MetEnk) are identified. An explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) trajectory is used to construct a Markov state model (MSM) based on dihedral space clustering of the trajectory, and transition path theory (TPT) is applied to identify(More)
Proton transfer/translocation is studied in cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) by a combination of quantum mechanics (QM) for the transferring protons and classical molecular dynamics (MD) for the protein and solvent. The possibility of a glutamate, Glu286 in the Rhodobacter sphaeroides numbering scheme, acting as a rely point for proton translocation is(More)