The way in which enzymes influence the rate of chemical processes is still a question of debate. The protein promotes the catalysis of biochemical processes by lowering the free energy barrier in comparison with the reference uncatalyzed reaction in solution. In this article we are reporting static and dynamic aspects of the enzyme catalysis in a bimolecular reaction, namely a methyl transfer from S-adenosylmethionine to the hydroxylate oxygen of a substituted catechol catalyzed by catechol O-methyltransferase. From QM/MM optimizations, we will first analyze the participation of the environment on the transition vector. The study of molecular dynamics trajectories will allow us to estimate the transmission coefficient from a previously localized transition state as the maximum in the potential of mean force profile. The analysis of the reactive and nonreactive trajectories in the enzyme environment and in solution will also allow studying the geometrical and electronic changes, with special attention to the chemical system movements and the coupling with the environment. The main result, coming from both analyses, is the approximation of the magnesium cation to the nucleophilic and the hydroxyl group of the catecholate as a result of a general movement of the protein, stabilizing in this way the transition state. Consequently, the free energy barrier of the enzyme reaction is dramatically decreased with respect to the reaction in solution. © 2005 American Chemical Society.
Roca, M., Andrés, J., Moliner, V., Tuñón, I., & Bertrán, J. (2005). On the nature of the transition state in catechol O-methyltransferase. A complementary study based on molecular dynamics and potential energy surface explorations. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127(30), 10648-10655. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja051503d