Preorganization and reorganization as related factors in enzyme catalysis: The chorismate mutase case

Sergio Martí, Juan Andrés, Vicent Moliner, Estanislao Silla, Iñaki Tuñón, Juan Bertrán

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52 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper a deeper insight into the chorismate-to prephenate-rearrangement, catalyzed by Bacillus subtilis chorismate mutase, is provided by means of a combination of statistical quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulation methods and hybrid potential energy surface exploration techniques. The main aim of this work is to present an estimation of the preorganization and reorganization terms of the enzyme catalytic rate enhancement. To analyze the first of these, we have studied different conformational equilibria of chorismate in aqueous solution and in the enzyme active site. Our conclusion is that chorismate mutase preferentially binds the reactive conformer of the substrate - that presenting a structure similar to the transition state of the reaction to be catalyzed - with shorter distances between the carbon atoms to be bonded and more diaxial character. With respect to the reorganization effect, an energy decomposition analysis of the potential energies of the reactive reactant and of the reaction transition state in aqueous solution and in the enzyme shows that the enzyme structure is better adapted to the transition structure. This means not only a more negative electrostatic interaction energy with the transition state but also a low enzyme deformation contribution to the energy barrier. Our calculations reveal that the structure of the enzyme is responsible for stabilizing the transition state structure of the reaction, with concomitant selection of the reactive form of the reactants. This is, the same enzymatic pattern that stabilizes the transition structure also promotes those reactant structures closer to the transition structure (i.e., the reactive reactants). In fact, both reorganization and preorganization effects have to be considered as the two faces of the same coin, having a common origin in the effect of the enzyme structure on the energy surface of the substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-991
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2003


  • Chorismate mutase
  • Enzyme catalysis
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Pericyclic reaction
  • QM/MM methods


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