Understanding Ion Binding Affinity and Selectivity in β-Parvalbumin Using Molecular Dynamics and Mean Spherical Approximation Theory.

TitleUnderstanding Ion Binding Affinity and Selectivity in β-Parvalbumin Using Molecular Dynamics and Mean Spherical Approximation Theory.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
JournalThe journal of physical chemistry. B
Date Published2016

Parvalbumin (PV) is a globular calcium (Ca(2+))-selective protein expressed in a variety of biological tissues. Our computational studies of the rat β-parvalbumin (β-PV) isoform seek to elucidate the molecular thermodynamics of Ca(2+) versus magnesium (Mg(2+)) binding at the protein's two EF-hand motifs. Specifically, we have utilized molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and a mean-field electrolyte model (mean spherical approximation (MSA) theory) to delineate how the EF-hand scaffold controls the "local" thermodynamics of Ca(2+) binding selectivity over Mg(2+). Our MD simulations provide the probability density of metal-chelating oxygens within the EF-hand scaffolds for both Ca(2+) and Mg(2+), as well the conformational strain induced by Mg(2+) relative to Ca(2+) binding. MSA theory utilizes the binding domain oxygen and charge distributions to predict the chemical potential of ion binding, as well as their corresponding concentrations within the binding domain. We find that the electrostatic and steric contributions toward ion binding were similar for Mg(2+) and Ca(2+), yet the latter was 5.5 kcal/mol lower in enthalpy when internal strain within the EF hand was considered. We therefore speculate that beyond differences in dehydration energies for the Ca(2+) versus Mg(2+), strain induced in the β-PV EF hand by cation binding significantly contributes to the nearly 10,000-fold difference in binding affinity reported in the literature. We further complemented our analyses of local factors governing cation binding selectivity with whole-protein (global) contributions, such as interhelical residue-residue contacts and solvent exposure of hydrophobic surface. These contributions were found to be comparable for both Ca(2+)- and Mg(2+)-bound β-PV, which may implicate local factors, EF-hand strain, and dehydration, in providing the primary means of selectivity. We anticipate these methods could be used to estimate metal binding thermodynamics across a broad range of PV sequence homologues and EF-hand-containing, Ca(2+) binding proteins.

Short TitleJ Phys Chem B
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