TCB Publications - Abstract

Ioan Kosztin, Robijn Bruinsma, Paul O'Lague, and Klaus Schulten. Mechanical force generation by G-proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 99:3575-3580, 2002. (PMC: 122565)

KOSZ2002 GTP-hydrolyzing G proteins are molecular switches that play a critical role in cell signaling processes. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations to show that Ras, a monomeric G protein, can generate mechanical force upon hydrolysis. The generated force levels are comparable to those produced by ATP-hydrolyzing motor proteins, consistent with the structural similarities of the catalytic region of motor- and G proteins. The force transduction mechanism is based on an irreversible structural change, produced by the hydrolysis, which triggers thermal switching between force-generating substates through changes in the configurational space of the protein.

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