In silico predictions of LH2 ring sizes from the crystal structure of a single subunit using molecular dynamics simulations

Janosi, L., Keer, H., Cogdell, R.J. , Ritz, T. and Kosztin, L. (2011) In silico predictions of LH2 ring sizes from the crystal structure of a single subunit using molecular dynamics simulations. Proteins: Structure Function and Bioinformatics, 79(7), pp. 2306-2315. (doi: 10.1002/prot.23056)

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Most of the currently known light-harvesting complexes 2 (LH2) rings are formed by 8 or 9 subunits. As of now, questions like "what factors govern the LH2 ring size?" and "are there other ring sizes possible?" remain largely unanswered. Here, we investigate by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and stochastic modeling the possibility of predicting the size of an LH2 ring from the sole knowledge of the high resolution crystal structure of a single subunit. Starting with single subunits of two LH2 rings with known size, that is, an 8-ring from Rs. moliscianum (MOLI) and a 9-ring from Rps. acidophila (ACI), and one with unknown size (referred to as X), we build atomic models of subunit dimers corresponding to assumed 8-, 9-, and 10-ring geometries. After inserting each of the dimers into a lipid-water environment, we determine the preferred angle between the corresponding subunits by three methods: (1) energy minimization, (2) free MD simulations, and (3) potential of mean force calculations. We find that the results from all three methods are consistent with each other, and when taken together, it allows one to predict with reasonable level of confidence the sizes of the corresponding ring structures. One finds that X and ACI very likely form a 9-ring, while MOLI is more likely to form an 8-ring than a 9-ring. Finally, we discuss both the merits and limitations of all three prediction methods

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cogdell, Professor Richard
Authors: Janosi, L., Keer, H., Cogdell, R.J., Ritz, T., and Kosztin, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Proteins: Structure Function and Bioinformatics

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