Comparative Computational Approach to Study Enzyme Reactions Using QM and QM-MM Methods

Ibrahim Yildiz, Banu Sizirici Yildiz, Serdal Kirmizialtin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Choline oxidase catalyzes oxidation of choline into glycine betaine through a two-step reaction pathway employing flavin as the cofactor. On the light of kinetic studies, it is proposed that a hydride ion is transferred from α-carbon of choline/hydrated-betaine aldehyde to the N5 position of flavin in the rate-determining step, which is preceded by deprotonation of hydroxyl group of choline/hydrated-betaine aldehyde to one of the possible basic side chains. Using the crystal structure of glycine betaine-choline oxidase complex, we formulated two computational systems to study the hydride-transfer mechanism including main active-site amino acid side chains, flavin cofactor, and choline as a model system. The first system used pure density functional theory calculations, whereas the second approach used a hybrid ONIOM approach consisting of density functional and molecular mechanics calculations. We were able to formulate in silico model active sites to study the hydride-transfer steps by utilizing noncovalent chemical interactions between choline/betaine aldehyde and active-site amino acid chains using an atomistic approach. We evaluated and compared the geometries and energetics of hydride-transfer process using two different systems. We highlighted chemical interactions and studied the effect of protonation state of an active-site histidine base on the energetics of transfer. Furthermore, we evaluated energetics of the second hydride-transfer process as well as hydration of betaine aldehyde.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)14689-14703
Number of pages15
JournalACS Omega
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2018


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