Reductive half-reaction of aldehyde oxidoreductase toward acetaldehyde: Ab initio and free energy quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations

2010 | journal article. A publication of Göttingen

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​Reductive half-reaction of aldehyde oxidoreductase toward acetaldehyde: Ab initio and free energy quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations​
Dieterich, J. M.; Werner, H.-J.; Mata, R. A. ; Metz, S. & Thiel, W.​ (2010) 
The Journal of Chemical Physics132(3) art. 035101​.​ DOI: 

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Dieterich, Johannes M.; Werner, Hans-Joachim; Mata, Ricardo A. ; Metz, Sebastian; Thiel, Walter
Energy and free energy barriers for acetaldehyde conversion in aldehyde oxidoreductase are determined for three reaction pathways using quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations on the solvated enzyme. Ab initio single-point QM/MM energies are obtained at the stationary points optimized at the DFT(B3LYP)/MM level. These ab initio calculations employ local correlation treatments [LMP2 and LCCSD(T0)] in combination with augmented triple- and quadruple-zeta basis sets, and the final coupled cluster results include MP2-based corrections for basis set incompleteness and for the domain approximation. Free energy perturbation (FEP) theory is used to generate free energy profiles at the DFT(B3LYP)/MM level for the most important reaction steps by sampling along the corresponding reaction paths using molecular dynamics. The ab initio and FEP QM/MM results are combined to derive improved estimates of the free energy barriers, which differ from the corresponding DFT(B3LYP)/MM energy barriers by about 3 kcal mol(-1). The present results confirm the qualitative mechanistic conclusions from a previous DFT(B3LYP)/MM study. Most favorable is a three-step Lewis base catalyzed mechanism with an initial proton transfer from the cofactor to the Glu869 residue, a subsequent nucleophilic attack that yields a tetrahedral intermediate (IM2), and a final rate-limiting hydride transfer. The competing metal center activated pathway has the same final step but needs to overcome a higher barrier in the initial step on the route to IM2. The concerted mechanism has the highest free energy barrier and can be ruled out. While confirming the qualitative mechanistic scenario proposed previously on the basis of DFT(B3LYP)/MM energy profiles, the present ab initio and FEP QM/MM calculations provide corrections to the barriers that are important when aiming at high accuracy.
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The Journal of Chemical Physics 



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